On June 17, Candace Dolan, Coordinator for the Hodgson Brook Restoration Project in Portsmouth, and past and current Watershed Assistance Grant recipient, received the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC) Visionary Award.
The Gulf of Maine Council represents a Canadian-American regional partnership of governmental and non-governmental representatives that provides collaborative leadership on cross-border issues such as ecosystem conditions, water quality and climate change within the Gulf of Maine watershed.
The visionary award Candace received recognizes her innovation, creativity, and commitment to protecting the marine environment.
For the past ten years, Candace has worked tirelessly to restore and protect Hodgson Brook – a tiny, degraded and forgotten stream that flows through the heart of Portsmouth, NH.
In her work as Coordinator for the Hodgson Brook Restoration Project, Candace Dolan has brought the brook’s plight to the attention of many including the City of Portsmouth, Pease Development Authority, local businesses, educational institutions, state agencies, residents, visitors, and students. She has organized hundreds of volunteers to monitor water quality, pull thousands of pounds of trash from the brook, and install rain gardens. She has made the brook come alive for many local students with hands-on, in-the-brook water quality education. Candace has reached out to local businesses to convince them to partner with her to construct innovative treatment practices to clean stormwater runoff, reduce the use of salt on their parking lots, enhance stream buffers on their properties, and…donate money to the brook’s cause! Candace has worked with city DPW crews to install tree box filters, bioretention units, and rain gardens. She has advocated passionately for the brook numerous times in front of city boards and committees. She has provided a multitude of opportunities for college students to conduct scientific investigations on the brook and then has applied their results to restoration solutions. Candace is not afraid to tackle difficult restoration problems; in fact, she relishes a challenge, and will often jump right in without fear…if it’s something new or unknown that will help the brook, Candace will say “yes” first and then figure out how to get it done later.
The list of Candace’s accomplishments – all conducted on behalf of a tiny little waterway that most would turn away from or forget – is endless. She is a force for the brook’s restoration; we have only the highest respect for her dedication, clear sense of purpose, and ability to blend science, policy, and culture for the health of Hodgson Brook.
Candace is in good company. Other award winners from New Hampshire include: The Nature Conservancy’s Oyster Conservationist Program, a program that enables local volunteers to raise oysters on private docks or moorings to help restore native oysters in the Great Bay Estuary, and the city of Portsmouth for its commitment to integrating sustainability throughout municipal governance, management and public services.