Rupert Rossetti of Garrett County was honored with the prestigious 2008 Bernie Fowler Award at Maryland’s 13th Annual Tributary Team meeting on Saturday, March 6 at the Maryland Department of the Environment in Baltimore.
The so-called “White Sneaker Award” is named for the former State Senator who initiated the annual Patuxent River wade-ins more than 25 years ago to test water turbidity and bring attention to declining water quality. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions of a tributary team member to Bay health and habitat.
“Rupert Rossetti’s work is a shining example for Marylanders,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. ”As we work towards restoring the Bay and our 2-year milestones, the work of our tributary teams is more vital than ever. Rupert and all our tributary team members’ dedication inspire others to get involved, while working towards a greener, more sustainable future.”
“It was a retraining opportunity in his early retirement from DuPont that got Rupert turned onto the field of water quality work — he took a GIS class from the University of Delaware that keyed him into a lot of this water quality stuff,” said his wife, Cynthia Rossetti.
Established in 1995, Maryland’s Tributary Teams are made up of more than 350 volunteer members comprised of citizens, business leaders, farmers and government officials, charged with helping implement pollution prevention measures in the State’s 10 major tributary basins. The ongoing work of the teams is a model for citizen involvement and action.
Under the Smart, Green & Growing initiative launched last year, the O’Malley-Brown Administration is working to involve every Marylander in reducing the State’s carbon footprint, preserving our most valuable resource, lands, and restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Rossetti recently led a work plan development exercise to reduce pollution. He inspired 15 fellow tributary team members to take the lead in the various team work plan projects. He also remains involved in other local issues such as the county comprehensive plan review, local water quality monitoring, and a stormwater management ordinance review. He has been a presenter at local and regional water quality monitoring and restoration seminars.
The teams also presented 10 Tributary Teams Watershed Hero Awards on Saturday, to team members who made exceptional contributions in 2009:
* Clarence (Doc) Kuntz, Choptank Tributary Team
* Keota Silaphone, Lower Eastern Shore Tributary Team
* Bob Boxwell, Lower Potomac Tributary Team
* Amy Clements, Lower Western Shore Tributary Team
* Kate Fritz, Middle Potomac Tributary Team
* Bill Stack, Patapsco/Back Tributary Team
* David Brownlee, Patuxent River Commission
* Joe Blizzard, Upper Eastern Shore Tributary Team
* Dave Biser, Upper Potomac Tributary Team
* Rupert Rossetti, Upper Western Shore Tributary Team
source: MD DNR press release