Thanks to the more than 85 people that attended the 45th Annual Meeting: Mystic Spotlights on October 25th. Attendees enjoyed a showcase where they had the opportunity to move through 6 stations and speak with staff and board members - the "feet on the ground." Station topics included greenways, water quality, policy and advocacy, river herring, the financial health of the organization and how to get involved.
Patrick Herron, MyRWA's Executive Director, shared the impact of this programming on our Mystic communities highlighting the major successes of the year: river herring, the Malden River, and being the voice of the river. Herron and others honored Beth MacBlane, Outreach and Communications Director who is leaving the organization after 8 years.
We accomplish our work with the help of volunteers and partnering organizations. Each year we honor key contributions at the Annual Meeting.
A tribute was given to volunteer Rick Beinecke, in memoriam. Rick passed away in June and was involved with many Mystic projects. Most notably, Rick wrote the book and paddling guide, The Mystic River, which exposed many hundreds of people to the watershed.
Mystic Quest Award: Medford's Warren family earned the Mystic Quest prize for completing the most quest items and using the Quest as a way to get to know the watershed as newcomers to Medford.
Water Quality Monitoring Awards: MyRWA's Andy Hrycyna presented Kate Adams and Matt Shuman with their 15-year monitoring award.
Mystic Municipal Leadership Award: Tom Philbin, Director of Communications for the City of Everett, received the municipal award for his extensive involvement in the Malden River Greenway Vision Plan, including wrangling the press for coverage and spearheading event planning.
Ripple Impact Award: Karen Buck was honored for her leadership with the Friends of the Malden River and being instrumental in connecting MyRWA with Malden. Karen also volunteers with MyRWA as a water quality monitor, herring monitor, and water chestnut removal volunteer.
Volunteer of the Year: Arlington's David Barlow provided important and effective policy commentary and recommendations, significantly raising MyRWA's profile during several public comment periods. David gives generously of his time as an eel monitor and by serving on the Policy Committee.
The Mystic Champion Award recognizes an individual from partnering or supporting agencies who has made a significant impact on our work to improve the Mystic River environment. We honored Ben Gahagan, Diadromous Fish Biologist with the MA Division of Marine Fisheries, who went above and beyond and spent countless hours to support the herring video project.
Photo credit: David Mussina 2017