Annual Meeting 2022

Annual Meeting - April 25, 2022

The Watershed Institute thanks our members, award recipients, speakers, volunteers, and guests who joined us Monday night at our first in-person annual meeting in three years!

We extend a special thank you to Shawn M. LaTourette, Commissioner of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, who was our featured speaker. He is who is responsible for driving environmental policy while directing programs that protect public health and ensure the quality of New Jersey’s air, land, water, and natural and historic resources. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy on June 14, 2021, after serving as Acting Commissioner since January 16, 2021.

We celebrated our recent successes – StreamWatch’s 30th anniversary, helping defeat the proposed PennEast pipeline, installing floating wetlands to improve water quality, training more local environmental advocates – and honored those who have helped us with these achievements.

The meeting included an awards ceremony for distinguished volunteers, Watershed members, board members, and a local educator who have helped our mission to keep our water clean, safe, and healthy.


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Hella and Scott McVay received the Edmund W. Stiles Award for Environmental Leadership. They are accomplished leaders who have made significant contributions to the protection of New Jersey’s environment during their decades of residence in the Princeton area. Hella, a noteworthy mathematician, was a founder of the Whole Earth Center in Princeton more than 50 years ago on Earth Day with several other women. The Center was the first organic food store in New Jersey.  Among Scott’s many leadership positions was his tenure as the first executive director of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. He was instrumental in making environmental protection a fundamental goal of the foundation.

Dr. Shani Peretz received the Richard Rotter Award for Excellence in Environmental Education, for engaging her students with activities to protect and enhance waterways in local communities. A research scientist, Dr. Peretz joined the Peddie School science department in 2005 and serves as an adviser to the school’s Environmental and Sustainability Team. She connects her students to both science and advocacy and immerses them in hands-on experiences. She supports student-led stewardship for Earth Day and, in 2019, brought about 50 students to help install floating wetlands at the upstream Meadow Lakes complex.  As the Watershed celebrates the 30th anniversary of StreamWatch, we are excited that Dr. Peretz has agreed to pilot the expansion of this program in schools. She received her Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University in 2001 and her B.S. in biology from Pennsylvania State University in 1995. 

Alix Gerry received The Watershed Institute’s Clean Water Champion Award in honor of her dedicated service to the StreamWatch volunteer water quality-monitoring program. Looking for ways to help her local community, she encouraged the Garden Club of Princeton to join the StreamWatch program at its inception in 1992. For thirty years, Alix has faithfully returned to her monitoring site on Honey Lake in Pennington every month to track changes in water chemistry and algal blooms. We thank Alix Gerry for her commitment to StreamWatch and to The Watershed Institute!

Thank You for Joining Us!

We are grateful for our guest speakers, awardees and members who support our mission to keep water clean, safe and healthy.

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