2018 Environmental Heroes

Carl Weimer
Lifetime Achievement Award

If you’re lucky enough to know Carl already, you’re well aware that he’s been safeguarding communities for decades, investing his time in making Whatcom County and beyond safer and more sustainable for future generations.

In the 70’s and early 80’s Carl’s work led him into the wilds, giving him pause to discern between human “wants” versus human “needs” and solidifying a core belief in the wonders of nature. Since then, he’s held fast to his beliefs while taking a scientific approach and a steadfast dedication to understanding and helping resolve important environmental issues facing our region.

Carl is a natural problem-solver. When he realized how much waste could be diverted from the Whatcom County landfill to be reused, he opened the RE Store. When a pipeline explosion ripped through Whatcom Falls Park in 1999, he stepped up to ensure pipeline safety was addressed. When our community needed wise elected leadership, he pursued a seat on the Whatcom County Council.

Carl has played a vital role in shaping Whatcom County, truly embodying the term “environmental hero”. From his tenure as RE Sources’ Executive Director to his three terms serving on the Whatcom County Council, he has applied his creative instincts, thoughtful judgement, patience, and passion to make the world a better place for us all.

Carl is currently the Executive Director of the national Pipeline Safety Trust. In that capacity he has served as a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Technical Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Standards Committee, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association’s External Advisory Panel, and the governor appointed Washington Citizen Committee on Pipeline Safety.

Carl has been called upon to testify to the U.S. House and Senate multiple times (ask him about where he got his suit!), as a witness by the National Transportation Safety Board, and was honored in 2015 as a Champion of Change by the White House for his pipeline safety efforts. He has organized eleven national pipeline safety conferences, pushed for stronger pipeline safety legislation on the national and state level, runs the national Safe Pipelines and LNG Safety listservs that include over 900 people, and regularly serves as an independent source of pipeline safety information for news media, local government, and citizens around the country.

Carl served on the Whatcom County Council for twelve years, and as chairman of the Council for four of those years. He served as the Council’s liaison on 13 advisory committees, and also as the chairman of the County’s Board of Health and Flood Control District Board of Supervisors. During his time on the Council he spearheaded various county efforts to improve water quality, incarceration prevention, transparency in government, and pipeline safety.

Before his employment with the Pipeline Safety Trust, Carl spent 13 years as the Executive Director of RE Sources. In that time RE Sources grew from 6 employees to 42 employees, and won numerous local, state, and national awards for their innovative programs. During his time with RE Sources he was responsible for establishing the North Sound Baykeeper program and opening The RE Stores in Bellingham and Seattle.

Before RE Sources Carl was the General Manager of Vangard Northwest in Ferndale, where he helped create jobs for people with severe disabilities. Before moving to Whatcom County Carl did various stints with natural resource agencies such as the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Though we are honoring Carl with a Lifetime Achievement Award this year, it is certain that Carl will remain a strong advocate for the natural world. Carl may be eyeing retirement near the end of 2019 – but don’t be surprised if, after a little time immersed in the wild to rejuvenate his spirit, you see him show up for some of the slow, boring, and controversial conversations that lead to lasting positive changes in our community. His commitment to doing good clearly stems from a deep passion and strong values, which will continue to shine through in his future pursuits.

Crina Hoyer
Environmental Educator, Advocate, Community Leader.

Crina developed a love for the natural world growing up as a free-spirit on Whidbey Island, where she spent time jumping off wharves, mucking around mudflats, and exploring forested uplands. After an idyllic Pacific Northwest childhood, she decided to enroll in Huxley College and pursue a degree in “Environmental Education and Interpretation”.

Shortly after graduating, Crina began her twenty-year career at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities as a classroom educator – teaching about waste reduction, air quality, climate change and marine water quality. She later managed these education programs and developed a field-based intertidal project for high schoolers. In 2005, she officially became RE Sources Program Director and in that position was influential in expanding the scope of RE Sources Clean Water Program, launching the Clean Energy Program, and multiplying programmatic impacts by enlisting the help of interns, work study students and AmeriCorps volunteers.

Since stepping up to the Executive Director role in 2012, RE Sources’ reputation as a regional leader in the sustainability movement has blossomed. During her tenure, RE Sources identified and alerted the community to the staggering threat posed by the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. If built, it would have been the nation’s largest coal export facility, certain to devastate salmon and orca populations, individual livelihoods, and the culture and traditions of indigenous Salish Sea peoples.

Instead, under Crina’s leadership, RE Sources raised substantial dollars, hired new staff, partnered with key organizations across the region, cut its teeth on grassroots organizing, and helped build one of the largest environmental movements in our region’s history. It took courage to stand up to Goldman Sachs, to Peabody Coal, to Pacific International Terminals, and to the monied backers and lobbyists vested in an increasingly desperate coal industry.

Crina’s leadership is also reflected in the organization’s ongoing efforts to: continue protecting the Salish Sea from the hazards of crude oil exports; addressing water quality and quantity issues; introducing new sustainable schools programs to elevate environmental awareness in the K-12 population; developing skilled workers through the RE Store’s Community Jobs Training Program; and promoting clean energy alternatives.

Much of this would not have been accomplished without the working relationships and coalitions that Crina cultivated with key stakeholders – including tribal leaders, labor, elected officials, businesses, other non-profits, philanthropists, and concerned community members. It was also achieved through an internal focus on strategic planning; a strong commitment to staff support, growth, and development; efficient financial planning/tracking/execution; creating an organization-wide emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and equity; and building a governance- and fundraising-savvy board of directors.

In typical Crina fashion, she would be the first to credit her outstanding team of co-workers and partners for the powerful and sustained effort it took to bring RE Sources to this robust period in its evolution and yet none of us can deny the positive impact that Crina’s leadership has had on this organization.

Crina has garnered a well-deserved reputation as a dynamic community leader. Her style relies on a foundation of integrity, self-confidence, intelligence, passion, and the ability to connect with people, regardless of the circumstances. She balances the rigors of her professional life with a loving family (husband Barry and sons Spencer and Baxter), a posse of good friends, and a taste for adventure.

The community can look forward to more greatness from Crina as she chooses the next step in an already-acclaimed career. The community can also rely on RE Sources to continue delivering on its promise to protect, activate, innovate, and thrive, thanks in no small part to Crina’s remarkable contributions.