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2013 Environmental Heroes

RE Sources is pleased to announce this year's award recipients, chosen for their commitment to and achievements on behalf of our environment.   Congratulations to our 2013 Environmental Heroes: 

Charlie Maliszewski

Charlie Maliszewski, 2013 Environmental Hero Charlie is recognized for his leadership role in three local environmental non-profits: RE Sources, Sustainable Connections, and Futurewise Whatcom.   During his seven-year stint with RE Sources, including 4 as board president, Charlie helped to guide the organization through a successful capital campaign, two executive director transitions, an economic downturn and restructuring, programmatic evolution (including RE Sources' decision to take the lead on the coal port issue), and board revitalization. His five years on the Sustainable Connections board, two as vice-president, saw the organization expanding its community reach and impact through efforts like the Community Energy Challenge and the Food & Farming program. As a steering committee member during Futurewise Whatcom's first two years of existence, he led two successful fundraising campaigns and played a key role in defining the organization's day-to-day modus operandi. A scientist by training, Charlie's leadership style combines critical thinking with a passion for getting the right things done and having fun in the process. In a nutshell, Charlie has worked to ensure that the local environmental movement (and its infrastructure) is strong, resilient, and meeting the needs of our community.

Jean Melious

Jean Melious, 2013 Environmental Hero Jean is a teacher, attorney, community leader and activist who has contributed her expertise and countless hours to protect our environment. She is a Professor in the Environmental Studies Department of Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, and her students  have made substantial leadership contributions in our community and around the world.  She is also an attorney, whose pro bono representation of local citizens has resulted in substantial victories before the Growth Management Hearings Board.  These cases, which address the need to protect water quality, water quantity, and prevent sprawl, will have lasting benefits for our community and the environment.  To help explain the need for smart planning and political leadership to a broader community audience, she has contributed more than a hundred entries to the blog Get Whatcom Planning.  Jean has been appointed to the Whatcom County Planning Commission, City of Bellingham Historical Preservation Commission and Community Development Advisory Board, and has been a member of the Board of  RE Sources and the Steering Committee of Futurewise Whatcom.

Alex Ramel

Alex Ramel, 2013 Environmental HeroAlex is recognized for his work as Energy and Policy Manager at Sustainable Connections as well as for his volunteer work with the Washington Conservation Voters. At Sustainable Connections, he was one of the architects of the Community Energy Challenge - a program jointly implemented with the Opportunity Council that helps homes and businesses cut energy costs and reduce pollution while creating green jobs. The Community Energy Challenge has been recognized in several national forums as one of the most successful efforts of its kind. He has also been an advocate for a district heating system on the Bellingham Waterfront and has worked alongside local government to improve regulations for renewable energy, green building and smart growth practices, efforts that will pay both environmental and economic dividends for years to come. After work and on the weekends, Alex serves as a volunteer with the local chapter of the Washington Conservation Voters where he works to help environmental champions win elections. He has helped to organize events like Candidate Jeopardy and the Whatcom Wins 2013 campaign as well as countless phone banks and canvasing events. Alex is grateful to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world surrounded by a community that values stewardship and cares for the land, water and air.

Saul Weisberg

Saul Weisberg, 2013 Environmental Hero Saul is the executive director of North Cascades Institute, a conservation organization that connects people, nature and community by teaching at the convergence of natural and cultural history, science, humanities and the arts. Saul worked throughout the Northwest as a wilderness ranger, biologist, and fire lookout before starting the Institute in 1986. Respected nationally for its community partnerships and nonprofit leadership, the Institute reaches more than 15,000 children and adults each year in programs that emphasize hands-on discovery and stewardship. Saul is adjunct faculty at Huxley College of the Environment and has served on the board of directors of the Natural History Network, the Environmental Education Association of Washington, and the Association of Nature Center Administrators. A dedicated naturalist, Saul continues to teach and write about northwest mountains, watersheds and wildlife. He lives in Bellingham where his passions include canoeing, bugs and walking in the mountains in the rain.


Seth Fleetwood, Dan McShane, and Sharon Roy

Seth, Dan, and Sharon are honored for their work on the Whatcom County Council during 2000-2010 (Fleetwood 2002-2010, McShane 2000-2008 and Roy 2002-2006) providing unprecedented protections for the environment of Whatcom County. During their tenure, council members greatly reduced development potential by thousands of homes in the Lake Samish, Lake Whatcom, Lake Padden, Birch Bay, and Drayton Harbor watersheds as well as Point Roberts and Chuckanut Drive; put into place more protective rules for Lake Whatcom, Lake Samish and Lake Padden; created Whatcom County Stormwater Management Plan to identify a path for dealing with Lake Whatcom stormwater; held the line on urban growth boundaries by shrinking the Birch Bay urban growth area and refusing to allow Bellingham to expand its growth area out to Smith Road; supported the growth forums along with the City of Bellingham, resulting in the concept of urban villages incorporated into the Bellingham comprehensive plan; helped create the Point Whitehorn Reserve and Lily Point Reserve; developed a strong and effective update of the Shoreline Management Program that culminated in what DOE said was the best shoreline management program in the state; developed a new Critical Areas Ordinance that has been a model for other counties in Washington State; initiated the Reconveyance process that has led to a 8,800 acre forest reserve in the Lake Whatcom watershed; established and funded a farmland protection program; and lobbied for grizzly bear recovery programs in Washington State.*


Heroes will be awarded at  

Thursday, September 5th 2013
at the Lairmont Manor

Tickets On Sale Now

*Laurie Caskey-Schreiber & Carl Weimer, though a part of the County Council during these accomplishments have been previous award recipients.