On April 25th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne with the 2012 Environmental Merit Award for a lifetime of advocacy for clean water. Friends of Casco Bay staff members, Joe's wife Kim (the Keeper of the Keeper), other New England waterkeepers, and EPA colleagues cheered Joe as he stepped up onto the stage at Boston's Faneuil Hall to receive his award for, as one EPA staffer put it, twenty years of "awesomeness." Afterwards, Joe said it was also pretty awesome to bask in the historic aura of the hall where George Washington and John Adams once orated.
Joe noted, "Because I am the face and voice of Friends of Casco Bay, the recognition I often receive should go to the entire staff and volunteers." It is because of the collaboration among our supporters – our members, donors, volunteers, and partners – that our work has received national recognition. As Joe points out, we are all working to make Casco Bay better.
The founders of Friends of Casco Bay said it best twenty years ago, shortly after hiring Joe: "The Casco Baykeeper has exceeded our dreams as steward and voice for Casco Bay. He is a listener, a fisherman's grandson who grew up working on the Bay, and a marine scientist whose actions are guided by both a passionate love for the Bay and an understanding of the physical and biological dynamics of the Bay."
Like Joe, we are all united in our "passionate love for the Bay." We all share in the Casco Baykeeper's success. Thank you!