Massachusetts Organizations and Residents Recognized by EPA for Environmental Achievements

MyRWA is thrilled to share that Roger Frymire, long-time MyRWA volunteer and activist, received the US EPA Lifetime Merit Award! Additionally, former Mayor of the City of Medford Michael McGlynn and strong supporter of water chestnut removal efforts received the US EPA Lifetime Merit Award. MyRWA offers our deepest gratitude and congratulations to both awardees!

---- Courtesy US EPA Press Release -----

Sixteen winners from Massachusetts were recognized today at the 2016 Environmental Merit Awards ceremony of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s New England regional office. The environmental leaders were among three dozen recipients across New England honored for helping to improve New England’s environment.

Each year EPA New England recognizes individuals and groups in the six New England states who have worked to protect or improve the region’s environment in distinct ways. The merit awards, given out since 1970, honor individuals and groups who have shown particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts.

“We are proud to honor those citizens, businesses and organizations who have gone the extra mile to help protect and preserve our region’s natural resources,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “These New England award winners are committed to making our towns, cities and countryside of New England healthy, vibrant places with clean air, land and water.”

The Environmental Merit Awards, which are given to people who have already taken action, are awarded in the categories of individual; business (including professional organizations); local, state or federal government; and environmental, community, academia or nonprofit organization. Also, each year EPA presents lifetime achievement awards for individuals.

Roger Frymire

Mystic River Watershed Association
With his kayak strapped faithfully to the roof of his car, Roger Frymire is a reliable and resourceful volunteer for the Mystic River Watershed Association. For the past 20 years, Frymire has monitored water quality for the association. He helped design and put in place monitoring programs that illuminate environmental conditions in the watershed, and his work has brought attention to the Mystic River, Malden River, Aberjona River, Chelsea Creek, Alewife Brook and the Mystic Lakes. Beginning in 1999, Frymire helped the Mystic Monitoring Network develop into one of New England’s finest water quality monitoring programs. Frymire volunteered countless hours collecting water samples and, as part of the Mystic Monitoring team, shared his important insight into monitoring design and data control.

In addition, Frymire was a one-man “find it and fix it” team. In his own words, he is a “retired codger who enjoyed kayaking but didn’t think rivers should smell like cesspools.” On many kayak trips, Frymire took more than 2000 samples for fecal bacteria analysis to identify the sources of the problems, bring attention to water conditions and get the problems solved. His efforts helped the rivers and led to many victories in the Mystic. Frymire has received multiple awards from environmental groups and the city of Cambridge.

Frymire began sampling with the Charles River Watershed Association and soon after began working in the Mystic, Merrimac and Salem Sound watersheds. He worked in every kind of weather and in every season. He was a consultant to USGS, EPA, the Army Corp of Engineers, the US Geological Survey, the state and the Center for Watershed Protection, and has given expert testimony at countless public hearings and meetings. His work has been featured on TV; in the Boston Globe; on NPR’s Living on the Earth; and in Mother Jones magazine, as well as numerous other publications. In these stories, Frymire always turns attention from himself to focus on the environment and on local non-profit advocates. With this Lifetime Achievement Award, EPA and the environmental community offer sincere thanks to Roger Frymire for his dedicated stewardship.

The Honorable Michael J. McGlynn

Medford, Massachusetts

As the longest serving mayor in Massachusetts, Michael J. McGlynn was Mayor of Medford, Massachusetts from 1987 until his retirement last year. His progressive leadership on energy and environmental issues spanned almost 20 years of policies and programs. Under McGlynn’s leadership, the city saw a long list of achievements. Among the most notable was the 2009 construction of a wind turbine that provides 10 percent of the power for the McGlynn School, saving $25,000 a year in electric bills and providing enough energy to offset about 133 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Medford was the first EPA Clean School Bus Project recipient in the country to not only manage the program for Medford, but also for 12 other regional communities served by the same bus company. The city had the first Municipal Climate Action Plan in the state, and received the 2004 EPA Clean Air Excellence Award for its innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under McGlynn’s leadership the city also put into place a solar program that resulted in Medford residents contracting 322 kilowatts of solar power. The city was recognized for its recycling and sustain¬ability practices, its energy and environmental initiatives, as well as its Go Green Medford initiative. During nearly three decades of leadership, Mayor McGlynn made a lifetime of difference for the city of Medford.