The Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) bestowed its 2019 Patricia F. Kane Lifetime Achievement Award to Hackensack Riverkeeper Captain Bill Sheehan at its Annual Awards Dinner.
“I was taken aback when I learned I was receiving this award,” said Sheehan, who founded Hackensack Riverkeeper in 1997, and who continues to serve as the organization’s Executive Director and Riverkeeper. “Having known Pat and her husband Rich since I started in this field, and worked so closely with Rich on Meadowlands issues, I am particularly thankful.”
Riverkeeper’s Program Director Captain Hugh Carola, a current ANJEE Trustee and a two-term past President, nominated Captain Sheehan for the prestigious award. During the awards presentation, Carola deferred introducing his boss in favor of NY/NJ Baykeeper Gregory Remaud – a fellow working Waterkeeper and someone who has known Sheehan even longer than he.
Among the criteria for the awards are that nominees: show a commitment to EE activities for most of their professional lives; show their EE activities have benefited New Jersey residents; show that those activities have the potential to be used by others in the field. In addition, the nominee’s EE activities must emphasize and/or practice the awareness-to-action process with those for whom the activities were intended. Lastly, it must be shown that the nominee has evolved into a leader in the environmental education field, either through vocation or avocation.
“When I reviewed each criterion, it was clear to me that Bill checked off every box but it was the final one that set me to writing the nomination,” recalled Carola. “Without question, he has become not only a leader in the field, but he’s done so in large measure through his – and our organization’s – unique approach to EE as a tool of clean water advocacy.”
The Patricia F. Kane Lifetime Achievement Award is named for the founding ANJEE Trustee and former NJ Audubon Vice President who is considered by many to be one of the founders of modern environmental education in New Jersey.