Coalition’s 32nd Annual Meeting offers virtual trip around Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition held its 32nd Annual Meeting as a virtual event on Thursday, Aug. 20, featuring reports on the Coalition’s work during this past year to protect the Bay as well as the presentation of the Buzzards Bay Guardian Award to Tom Gidwitz for his exceptional contributions to ensuring a healthier Bay.

The online format for the 2020 annual meeting inspired video reports—recorded in the field—of the Coalition staff at work, from woodlands in Westport and salt marsh in South Dartmouth to the edge of West Falmouth Harbor, the highest point on Cuttyhunk, and the middle of Vineyard Sound.

“Despite all the challenges they have faced with this pandemic, the Coalition staff has not missed a beat and continues to move ahead at full throttle on its science, advocacy, conservation and public engagement efforts,” said Laura Ryan Shachoy, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Coalition. “And the impactful and exciting reports that the staff will now show you from all corners of the watershed is just the tip of the iceberg of progress that is being made.”

“The work may feel a little different for all of us, but as you can see we are not letting this coronavirus keep us from tackling our mission and succeeding all around the region,” said Coalition President Mark Rasmussen.

Speakers at the meeting also underscored the importance of the Coalition’s 10,000-plus supporters in facilitating the progress that is being made to protect the Bay and its watershed.  “As always our greatest thanks goes out to you, your support and engagement in all its forms truly, truly makes these achievements possible. Thank you,” Shachoy said.

During the meeting, the Buzzards Bay Guardian honor for 2020 was awarded to Tom Gidwitz of Dartmouth for his 23 years of outstanding work with the Coalition.

“There’s barely been a decision that has not benefited from the involvement and guidance of Tom Gidwitz over the past two decades,” Rasmussen said in presenting the award. “For that effort and for showing up to support a cause, a mission and an organization that makes a difference, the Board is very excited to celebrate Tom Gidwitz with the sole Buzzards Bay Guardian Award for 2020.”

The Buzzards Bay Guardian Award is the highest honor given by the Coalition. This award recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding service in the cleanup, restoration, or protection of the Bay. What’s more, Bay Guardians are unsung heroes and heroines of conservation. Their public recognition not only celebrates what they have achieved for the Bay, but helps to inspire others to make a difference themselves.

Meeting Agenda

Welcoming Remarks
Mark Rasmussen, President

Report of the Board of Directors
Laura Ryan Shachoy, Chair of the Board

Permanent protection for Cuttyhunk
Brendan Annett, Vice President for Watershed Protection

Cleaning up nitrogen pollution in West Falmouth Harbor
Senior Attorney Korrin Petersen and Maureen Thomas, Water Resources Specialist

Opening the new Onset Bay Center
Katerine Garofoli, Onset Bay Center Director

Restoring the Weweantic at Horseshoe Mill
Sara daSilva Quintal, Restoration Specialist

Preserving coldwater streams in Westport
Land Stewardship Manager Jack Sidar and Mead Binhammer, Land Stewardship Assistant

Protecting salt marsh
Science Director Rachel Jakuba and Alice Bestermann, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Monitoring water quality on the Bay
Russ Keeler, Board member, and volunteers

Bay Guardian Award
Mark Rasmussen

Category: Events

Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: