Clean Water Action Celebrates Environmental Heroes in Connecticut
Environmental advocacy work has been pretty daunting these past two years. Every day it seems there is another attack on our environment whether it’s rolling back the Clean Power Plan, withdrawal from the historic Paris Agreement, allowing more methane pollution, rolling back achievable emission standards for cars and trucks, opening up public lands to drilling and mining, reducing standards for maintaining coal ash ponds or rolling back the Clean Water Rule. The list goes on and on. Its no wonder that some days, I feel an ache in my heart so profound and deep that I want to bury my head in the sand. I know so many of my colleagues feel the same. Yet, every day, we get up and continue on because we must.
Protecting this beautiful planet and leaving a vibrant, sustainable Earth for all species for generations to come is why we do what we do. It is more than a job, it is a passion.
In daunting times, it is important to look back and take stock of accomplishments. Together, we blocked or slowed many bad proposals and are inspired by extraordinary rise of grassroots leaders, young to old, people of all colors, ethnicities and faiths, working to fend off the attacks, hitting the streets and mobilizing together to protect our planet. We can’t count on our government so we’re taking things into our own hands. This is a period of deep transformation in our country and a critical 911 call for our planet. The recent IPCC report highlighted the rapidity with which we must act. Thankfully, so many amazing people are stepping up right here in Connecticut to make a difference.
At our annual fall harvest, we chose to celebrate some of those unsung heroes that work tirelessly in Connecticut communities and with Clean Water Action to make a difference. These heroes embody the transformative spirit that is playing out, though not reported in the daily news. They get up every day, volunteer, work to protect the environment and make a tremendous difference in their communities, usually with no recognition or reward. We were delighted to honor a few:
- Andy Bauer: Andy is a middle school teacher and dedicated energy task force leader in Portland. He was a champion of the Clean Water Action’s Sooty Six campaign that fought successfully to shut down dirty power plants and is now a Clean Water Action national board member.
- Kenny Foscue: Kenny was a dedicated, long time environmental health expert at the Department of Public Health and is a respected local leader. Kenny chairs the energy task force in North Haven and continues to be a powerful voice for reducing exposure to toxic chemicals in schools so children and staff can learn and work in a healthy environment.
- Pippa Bell Ader: Pippa is recognized community leader, a champion in the state for protecting children from concussions while playing sports, a tireless energy task force leader in Westport and very talented ceramic potter!
- Nash Pradhan: Founder of Norfolk’s Ginger Creek Nursery, Nash is an organic landscaper and gardener, and a highly educated plant expert. As a community leader, he serves on the Norfolk Conservation Commission, created and cares for the garden at Town Hall where native plants draw in butterflies and other pollinators. Nash works tirelessly to educate residents about the need to remove invasive plants and replace them with native species.
- Susan Eastwood: Susan is a long-time community leader, political activist and has served on numerous town committees. Her leadership as the chair of the Ashford energy task force has resulted in numerous renewable energy projects for the town. Susan has also been a tireless advocate for reducing exposure to toxic chemicals and serves on the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut.
We are grateful to these heroes, to our sponsors and dear friends Woodie Weiss and Peter Callan, Lantern Energy and to all of our Clean Water Action members. Together, we are making a difference now and for the future of all living things for generations to come. Join us! Be a hero!