The Bay Institute Announces 26th Annual Environmental Awards

Each year, the Bay Institute recognizes individuals who have helped improve and inspire conservation of the Bay and its watershed.

Cynthia Koehler will be the keynote speaker at the Bay Institute’s 26th annual Environmental Awards Ceremony. Seen here on left receiving the 2013 Bay Hero Award from Alexandra Kogan.


Published: June, 2018


Each year, the Bay Institute recognizes individuals who have helped improve and inspire conservation of the Bay and its watershed. Awards are given in three categories: education, reporting and extraordinary accomplishment. This year’s awards ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. on June 28 at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito.


Whitney Dotson, citizen activist and East Bay Regional Park District board member, will be the recipient of the 2018 Bay Hero Award. Dotson has a long record of activism at the intersection of conservation, environmental justice and water, and for protecting the wetlands of the East Bay shoreline. Created in 2011, the Bay Hero Award honors those whose significant efforts have led to increased protection and restoration of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.


Chris Austin, a blogger, will receive the Harold Gilliam Award for Excellence in Environmental Reports. Austin’s blog provides comprehensive coverage of California water issues, helps map and explain complex management processes, and provides a venue where many viewpoints are expressed. The award, created in 1999, is named for a former Chronicle columnist and author who has encouraged generations to think more deeply about our natural heritage.


Dr. Jeffrey Michael, the director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, will receive the Carla Bard Education Award. Dr. Michael has illuminated complex economic issues of California water use, and has separated myth from reality in looking at topics such as the agricultural economy and implementation of environmental laws. This award was created in 1992 to honor those who have significantly increased the public’s understanding of, and concern for, the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary. A former member of the Bay Institute’s Board of Directors, Bard was a champion of clean water, wetlands preservation, wild rivers, and was considered a statewide leader on water issues.


The awards ceremony will begin with keynote speaker Cynthia Koehler, the executive director of the Water Now Alliance, member of the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors, and recipient of the 2013 Bay Hero Award. For more information about the ceremony, see


The Bay Institute is a nonprofit research, education and advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the estuary’s tributary rivers, streams and watersheds. Created in 1981, the Bay Institute’s scientific policy experts have worked to secure stronger protections for endangered species and their habitats; improve water quality; reform how California manages its water resources; and promote comprehensive ecological restoration in the region.