Sam Day, 2012 Environmental Award
For his exceptional efforts to raise awareness about issues threatening Maine’s watersheds and native fisheries, and for his effective lobbying and testimony at the Legislature to protect Maine’s wetlands and waterfowl.
The first person we’d like to acknowledge this evening was initially nominated for our People’s Choice Award—the winner of that award is determined by popular vote among our membership and supporters, typically for work done in a specific community. In reviewing the nomination form and considering just how closely this person has worked with NRCM staff, especially over the past year, a 2012 Environmental Award seemed in order.
Sam is a student at Hall-Dale High School, which makes his contributions to protecting Maine’s environment all the more remarkable. Anyone who has ever given testimony before a governmental committee knows it can be nerve-wracking. Yet we can always count on Sam to be there, speaking up for protections for Maine’s fish and wildlife. Sam is passionate about fly fishing and waterfowl hunting, and that passion was obvious and effective when he testified on the importance of protecting Maine’s vernal pools and waterfowl wetlands. His name comes up whenever we need a sportsman’s point of view at a press conference, and he is always willing to oblige—and not just because it gets him out of school! As Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited, who nominated Sam for the People’s Choice Award, noted, “Sam is an impressive young man. He speaks from the heart, but in a calm, convincing, and informed manner.” It is no wonder that Sam stole the show last spring at our Environmental Roundtable with Regional EPA Administrator Curt Spalding. Of the 18 panelists who spoke at this event in May, many people, including his fellow panelists, said that Sam made the most powerful impression, giving voice to the environmental concerns of his generation and the responsibilities we all have to keep the environment healthy for people and wildlife alike.
In addition to his advocacy work, Sam is a tireless volunteer for mapping and database projects aimed at protecting and restoring Maine’s wildlife habitat. Sam, we appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm. It’s an honor this evening to present to you a 2012 NRCM Environmental Award.