Green Medford seeks to educate the Medford community to understand our environmental impact, and to empower members of our community to make more sustainable energy choices related to homes and businesses, transportation, and food.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Environmental Merits Awards bestowed on Medford!

A Medford-based organization and a Mystic River Watershed Association staffer are among 24 recipients of 2012 Environmental Merit Awards from the Environmental Protection Association, Region 1.

The merit awards, recognizing valuable contributions to environmental awareness and problem solving, are a unique way that EPA can recognize individuals and groups that are making significant impacts on environmental quality in distinct ways.

The Medford-related winners:

Patrick Herron
Mystic River Watershed Association, Arlington, Mass.
Patrick Herron (pictured at left center), Water Quality Monitoring Director for the Mystic River Watershed Association (www.mysticriver.org), has improved the lives of more than a half million residents living in Mystic River communities. The Mystic Monitoring Network, which uses volunteers to gather data, has been integral to the association's work for more than a decade. Patrick, a dedicated scientist, has used data collected through the network to raise awareness about discharges that pollute the Mystic River and other resources in its watershed. He drew attention to the problem of sanitary sewer overflows in the watershed because he believed that rain and snow were causing contamination of the river and neighboring waters. With help from university interns and dedicated volunteer monitors, Patrick monitored and calculated the impact of discharges on river ecology and water chemistry. He created an online sewer overflow reporting form that made data collected easily available. This information helped the association inform citizens and helped local officials identify overflow points. His conversations with local water and sewer officials influenced the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to study the pipe system and facilities in the Mystic River district to determine if they could prevent ongoing overflows. Patrick also created a Mystic River Herring Monitoring Network to be launched this spring, and advocated for installation of green infrastructure in the Mystic River Watershed. He has partnered with local officials, community organizations, environmental advocacy groups and a variety of academic partners in the watershed. Through these collaborations, he has brought hope and direction for the concerns of residents and decision-makers in the Mystic River watershed.

West Medford, Mass

BizNGO (www.bizngo.org) is a non-profit environmental organization that works to protect consumers from toxic chemicals. Also known as the Business-NGO Working Group, this organization promotes creation and use of safer chemicals and sustainable materials in a way that supports a healthy economy, healthy environment, and healthy people. The organization released two important frameworks to help companies choose more sustainable plastics and safer chemicals for their products: 1) The Principles for Sustainable Plastics, and 2) Chemical Alternatives Assessment Protocol (v.1.0): How to Select Safer Alternatives to Chemicals of Concern to Human Health or the Environment. This represents the collective work of Mark Rossi, Chair and vital member of the New England Green Chemistry Initiative, and his colleagues. Together they are working to advance safer chemicals and materials in consumer products. These two documents are the result of dedication and an ability to help business to business communication and cooperation. BizNGO also runs annual two-day conferences at sites around New England. The assessment and evaluation tools provided by BizNGO will help companies identify hazardous chemicals along the entire supply chain and will guide them in choosing safer alternatives. This lifecycle approach encourages sustainability and contributes to the public health and environmental protection in an economically sustainable way.

More on the Environmental Merit Awards:


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