Augusta, ME — The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) is pleased to announce that Sandra Wright of Mt. Vernon has won a 2011 NRCM Environmental Award, for her work engaging her members of her community in legislative action. (Read full citation at end of this page.)
“For future generations to know and enjoy the beautiful Maine we see today, Maine citizens must be vigilant, stay informed and take action,” says NRCM Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann. “Maine is fortunate to have citizens like Sandra. She put her passion into action, and in so doing, set an example for all citizens who care about the kind of Maine we want to leave for our children and grandchildren. For her extraordinary efforts, she is well-deserving of our Environmental Award, and we are honored to be giving one to her.”
The prestigious award, which was presented at NRCM’s annual meeting on Friday, September 23, is given each year by NRCM to an individual or group whose actions have made a real difference at the local, regional, or state level in the protection of Maine’s environment.
This past legislative session, more than 50 bills were introduced that would have weakened protections for Maine’s land, air, water, and wildlife. The roll back agenda included weakening of iconic measures like Maine’s bottle recycling law that dramatically reduced roadside litter and has kept millions of pounds of glass and plastic out of landfills. The highly successful electronic waste law was also on the chopping block, despite the fact this law has saved tax payers more than $9.6 million and prevented more than 3.3 million pounds of lead and other toxic materials found in products like computers from entering the waste stream and poisoning the environment.
Among the many, many people taking action against the proposed rollbacks, Sandra Wright was a stand-out. She kept herself informed of every piece of proposed legislation, and made sure that the people in her community understood as well.
Sandra’s work was also acknowledged by Senator George Mitchell, keynote speaker at the NRCM event. Senator Mitchell praised Sandra for her dedication to the values she considers important, and congratulated her on the award.
2011 Environmental Award
For her extraordinary work organizing and engaging her fellow community members in legislative action.
This past legislative session, it became very obvious, very quickly, that laws protecting Maine’s environment were under attack. It also quickly became clear that these safeguards—many put in place decades ago with broad support from Maine citizens—were going to need to be defended by Maine citizens if they were to survive the session intact. Maine people responded, speaking out against efforts to roll back everything from the bottle bill put in place in the 1970s to the Kid-safe Products Act passed just two years ago. Among the many, many people taking action, Sandra Wright was a stand-out.
The voices legislators most want to hear are those of their constituents. We know, because legislators tell us so. Sandra knows this, too, which is why she has a strong track record of speaking out on issues relating to Maine’s environment. Sandy and her husband Chuck understood that much more was at stake this year than in years past and responded by working with their friends and neighbors to urge their legislators to defeat some of the worst rollback bills, including the assault on Maine’s shoreland zoning laws and protections for vernal pools, both are so important for protecting water quality and wildlife habitat.
In short, Sandra put her passion into action, and in so doing, set an example for all citizens who care about the kind of Maine we want to leave for our children and grandchildren. Sandra, for your extraordinary efforts in helping stop the environmental rollbacks, we could not be more pleased to be giving you a 2011 NRCM Environmental Award.