2014-06-27 / Community

Area baykeeper honored with national award

Joe Payne Joe Payne Joe Payne, who has worked to improve water quality in Maine’s Casco Bay for more than 22 years, was presented with the 2014 River Hero Award on June 2 at a banquet attended by 700 water advocates from around the world. It was part of an annual conference called River Rally, hosted by River Network and by Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization that the Casco Baykeeper helped to create.

Payne, Casco Baykeeper for Friends of Casco Bay, is one of the original seven waterkeepers and a founder of Waterkeeper Alliance. For more than two decades, he has been the eyes, ears and voice of Casco Bay, working to improve and protect the environmental health of Maine’s premier bay through science-based advocacy. When Payne was told he was being named a River Hero, he asked how that could be, since he only works on the ocean. He was assured that the honor is not just for river advocates. The award recognizes the accomplishments of an extraordinary group of individuals who have dedicated themselves to protecting water.

Since 2002, 62 individuals from around the U.S. and the world have been honored with the River Hero Award from River Network, a coalition of more than 2,000 local, state and regional grassroots organizations working to protect rivers, lakes, and coastal waters for 25 years.

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