WRA Announces 2023 Water Resources Award Winners!

August 10, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PA, NJ, DE, NY) – The Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin (WRA) today announced the winners of the 2023 Water Resources Awards, recognizing leadership, innovation and excellence in the science and management of water resources within the Delaware Basin.

“These awardees provide inspiration, templates for future projects, and a suite of technical tools that can help us build resilience and promote sustainability in the Delaware River Basin and beyond,” said Jennifer Garigliano, WRA Board President.

Awards will be presented at WRA’s 40th Annual Awards Gala on September 21st at the beautiful Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia.

2023 Awardees are:

SAMUEL S. BAXTER MEMORIAL AWARD: Russell J. Furnari in recognition of his significant contributions advancing sustainability through his expertise, leadership, and remarkable ability to forge partnerships and promote collaborative solutions to challenges in the water and energy sectors in the Delaware River Basin.

DR. RUTH PATRICK EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD: The Nurture Nature Center for outstanding leadership in engaging, educating and empowering communities to prepare for and mitigate climate related risks and promote resilience throughout the Delaware River Basin.

PARKS AND PLACES AWARD: City of Newark, Delaware – Hillside Park for exemplifying a resilient, community-based approach to overcoming the challenges of water quality and flooding by improving headwater conditions of Silver Brook, a tributary to the upper Christina River.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: The Academy of Natural Sciences for their continued contributions to the Delaware River Basin with an innovative environmental justice mapping tool developed by scientists from the Academy’s Patrick Center for Environmental Research (PCER) to prioritize green stormwater infrastructure investment within underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods.

GOVERNMENT AWARD: The Philadelphia Water Department in recognition of PWD’s highly innovative and forward-looking Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) providing a roadmap for Philadelphia and others to develop an actionable risk-based approach to planning, design, operations, and management of drinking water, stormwater management, and wastewater treatment.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Gary W. Snyder for a career dedicated to improving water resources in the Greater Philadelphia area through technical expertise, leadership, mentoring and an unflagging commitment to finding solutions through collaboration across sectors, municipalities, and technical disciplines.

INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION AWARD – Government Agency: The City of Camden, New Jersey, Camden County and the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority for their transformational commitment to clean, accessible and sustainable water resources while building an economically thriving and dynamic waterfront and nurturing a spirit of community to address ongoing water quality and water equity challenges.

INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION AWARD – Research: Dr. Franco Montalto, Director of Drexel University’s Sustainable Water Resource Engineering for dedicated leadership to advance cutting edge science and innovative technologies to protect communities from climate related flood risk and to enable historically disadvantaged communities to proactively partner with Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority to improve their neighborhoods.

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY AWARD: Vicinity Energy for designing and implementing an innovative solution for a more sustainable water supply to critical components within the district energy system, providing a continuous, reliable, and low-carbon energy source and playing a significant role in fulfilling the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Contact: Skelly Holmbeck, Executive Director, 561.707.3186, ed@wradrb.org

About the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin
WRADRB is a nonprofit, non-partisan, advocacy and public information organization that promotes the science-based management of water resources within the Delaware River Basin to protect water dependent uses and enhance the long-term sustainability and resiliency of the river system. WRADRB represents the water users and anyone dependent on, or interested in, the Basin’s water resources.

WRADRB was established in 1959 by representatives from industry, public and private utilities and other organizations that had wide-ranging interests in water resources and sought to ensure public participation in the management of the Delaware River and its tributaries.

In 1961, the WRADRB successfully participated in the development of a federal-interstate compact and the creation of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). Since then, WRADRB has remained active in monitoring activities of the DRBC and other agencies of the four Basin states.

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