Annapolis, MD. (September 16, 2011)
Contact: Al Todd, 443-949-0575

Last night, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (ACB) announced that George S. Hawkins, the former leader of Washington D.C.’s Department of Environment and current head of DC Water, was the recipient of its 10th Annual Environmental Leadership Award. The award was presented during ACB’s Taste of the Chesapeake gala event, held at the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

A long-time advocate for a healthy Chesapeake Bay, the Alliance is proud to honor Hawkins for his life’s work as well as his magnetic personality that attracts others to the cause.

As head of the District Department of the Environment, Hawkins initiated DC’s innovative stormwater management practices which are currently being copied in urban centers throughout the country. Under his direction the Department began implementation of the nation’s most stringent federal permit to reduce pollutants from stormwater runoff. He implemented the Anacostia 2032 Plan to transform one of the most polluted rivers in the country into an Environmental gem that will drive economic revitalization. As Director he was active in the leadership of the Chesapeake Bay Program at the Principles’ Staff Committee and was often lauded for his impassioned presentations for a stronger Bay Program partnership. He launched and chaired the Mayor’s Green Team which coordinated sustainability efforts across the District’s more than 40 agencies. Currently, Hawkins runs DC Water which operates Blue Plains, the world’s largest advanced waste water treatment plant. Under his leadership DC Water is designing and implementing the Clean Rivers Project that will nearly eliminate overflows of stormwater and sewage to the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and Rock Creek. He also is overseeing the installation of a Biosolids digester that will become the largest source of renewable energy in the region, reduce the amount of biosolids from Blue Plains by half, and disinfect these biosolids to be clean enough to sell as fertilizer at retail stores.

The Alliance’s Environmental Leadership Award is given each year in honor of ACB’s former Director, Fran Flanigan, who retired in 2001 after over 22 years at the helm, but who continues her strong commitment to a healthy Bay. Recipients of the awards are chosen by a diverse committee, based on their:

  • long-standing commitment to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay lands and waters and whose work has had a meaningful and lasting impact, and
  • efforts that are  consistent with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s mission of fostering partnerships and building consensus to advance the cause of environmental stewardship in the watershed.