4/3/2013: Five Bay Advocates to be Honored by The Bay Institute

The Bay Institute Will Honor Five Individuals for Ongoing Efforts to Save San Francisco Bay and its Watershed

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 3, 2013 - On Thursday, April 11, 2013, The Bay Institute will honor five remarkable individuals for their outstanding achievements in protecting and restoring the San Francisco Bay. Since 1992, The Bay Institute has recognized people within the community that have continually shown support for and made significant contributions to the San Francisco Bay and its watershed. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with an hour-long reception in the lobby of the Bay Theater at Aquarium of the Bay before the awards ceremony commences inside the theater.

Lifetime Achievement Award
To kick off the ceremony, The Bay Institute will honor Harrison C. “Hap” Dunning with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to the environment for over 40 years. Dunning has served on the Board of Directors for The Bay Institute since 1983, chairing the board from 1984-1995, as well as chairing the board’s policy committee in recent years.

Having earned a degree from Harvard Law School, Dunning has advocated for environmental law since the 1960s. His various achievements include initiating courses in environmental law as a professor at UC Davis, serving as the executive director of the Governor’s Commission to Review California Water Rights Law, and chairing a committee campaigning for a statewide initiative on water policy, an initiative which appeared on the November 1982 California ballot.

Harold Gilliam Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting…from the Sierra to the Sea
The Harold Gilliam Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting…from the Sierra to the Sea recognizes knowledgeable and skilled reporting on complex environmental issues affecting the Bay-Delta Estuary and its tributary waterways. This year this honor will be received by two writers: Ariel Rubissow Okamoto and Kathleen M. Wong. Between them, Okamoto and Wong have been reporting on science and water issues for nearly 40 years. In 2011, Okamota and Wong joined together to write Natural History of San Francisco, a California Natural History Guide that not only explores the natural history of San Francisco Bay, but also looks at its human history and how each affects the other. Natural History of San Francisco Bay is described as a “definitive resource for exploring California’s spectacular landscape and abundant flora and fauna.”

Carla Bard Bay Education Award
The Carla Bard Bay Education Award honors those who have significantly increased the public’s understanding of and concern for the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. Rita Schmidt Sudman has been chosen to receive this award due to her work as the executive director of Water Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a better understanding of water resources and fostering public understanding and resolution of water resource issues. Water Education Foundation achieves these goals through facilitation, education and outreach. Here, Sudman directs the development of publications, public television programs, tours, school programs and more, educating the public about critical water resource issues.

Bay Heroes Award
The newest of the awards given out by The Bay Institute is the Bay Heroes Award. Created in 2011, this award honors individuals whose efforts have led to increased protection of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. This year the Bay Heroes Award will be presented to Cynthia Koehler, Director of Programs for Carpe Diem West, a nonprofit working to preserve healthy headwaters throughout the Western United States. Among other achievements, Koehler has served as the California Water Legislative Director for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), where she ran EDF’s California legislative agenda for water. Koehler served as a chief negotiator for the historic 2009 Bay Delta Water Reform Act and led the State Water Resources Control Board’s 2010 decision, for the first time, to establish public trust flow criteria for the San Francisco Bay Delta Estuary.

About The Bay Institute:
The Bay Institute is the leader in protecting and restoring the entire watershed which drains into San Francisco Bay. For over 30 years, The Bay Institute has been developing and leading model scientific research, education and advocacy programs to preserve this watershed, which includes the Sacramento and the San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries; Suisun Marsh; San Pablo Bay; and San Francisco Bay. Additional information on The Bay Institute is available at bay.org.


Media Contact:
Mallory Johnson