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RE Sources for Sustainable Communities announces 2017 Environmental Heroes

posted Aug 14, 2017, 10:14 AM by Virginia Cleaveland   [ updated Aug 14, 2017, 10:16 AM ]

Five individuals recognized for their efforts to protect and promote the health of our Pacific Northwest environment. 


For 14 years, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities has selected a handful of bright stars — local leaders, community visionaries, and brave-hearted citizens — to recognize and honor for their tireless work to safeguard our community and outstanding Pacific Northwest environment. 

RE Sources is pleased to announce this year’s Environmental Heroes: Bob Aegerter, Ellie Kinley, Dena Jensen, Sandy Robson, and Jeremy Freimund (in memoriam).

Heroes are nominated and selected by a panel of community members, former Heroes, RE Sources’ staff, and board members, for their extraordinary efforts to protect our natural world. RE Sources hosts Environmental Heroes to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals in Whatcom and Skagit counties whose work has had significant, lasting impact.

“Our 2017 Heroes have confronted and overcome big challenges in order to provide a safe and healthy future for people, wildlife and ecosystems alike,” said Crina Hoyer, executive director at RE Sources. “Our vision at RE Sources is to see people living satisfying lives in accord with the ecosystems we depend on, generation after generation. We are delighted to highlight the work of our Heroes in advancing this shared vision.”

About the 2017 Environmental Heroes:
  • Bob Aegerter has invested countless volunteer hours in service to the Mount Baker Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Whatcom Chapter of Washington Conservation Voters, and RE Sources. He has been an active community member on important environmental issues facing Whatcom County, and recently served a term on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Wolf Advisory Group. Through these various avenues, many gains have been made on behalf of wildlife, in the policy arena, and in protecting special places. 

  • Lummi Nation tribal member Ellie Kinley comes from a long line of fishers and tribal leaders. Her experience as a fisherwoman, and her deep and abiding respect for the natural, cultural, and historical importance of the Salish Sea, is reflected in her work both on and off the water. As a purse seiner, Ellie is dedicated to the wise and sustainable management of natural resources for present and future generations. When off the water, she is a fearless environmental champion, highlighting threats to the Salish Sea to both government officials and industry leaders, and advocating for its protection. 

  • Sandy Robson and Dena Jensen are tireless advocates for ecological protection, justice, and indigenous rights. They are the creators of the coalstop.com and Noisy Waters Northwest blogs, investigative writers, meticulous followers of Whatcom County public processes and often the first to intervene. They have shared incredibly pertinent information with community members, including environmental activists and policy-makers, that has led to more open dialogue and much needed scrutiny of projects such as the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point.

  • Jeremy Freimund is being honored in memoriam for his decades-long work with the Lummi Nation as their Water Resources Manager. His career was marked by key achievements including development of an oil spill response plan, overseeing the Lummi Nation Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan, and establishing the first tribally-owned and operated commercial wetland mitigation bank in the U.S. He was the consummate professional and brought a resounding level of scientific expertise and institutional knowledge to all he did at the Lummi Natural Resources Department. He was a great leader, team member, and friend, and approached work and life with integrity, loyalty, and kindness. He was an inspiration and is dearly missed.

The 2017 Heroes will be honored during the Environmental Heroes Awards Banquet on Thursday, September 7th, at the Lairmont Manor in Bellingham.

Event proceeds will go to support RE Sources for Sustainable Communities programs and projects. For more information, visit re-sources.org/environmentalheroes or contact Mary Humphries at maryh@re-sources.org or (360) 733-8307 ext. 204.

As the Cornerstone Sponsor, Sanitary Service Company provides generous support for Environmental Heroes, along with additional key sponsors Puget Sound Benefit Services, Ecotech Solar, Community Food Co-op, Danne Neill Realtor, Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro, Restoration Inc., Pepper Sisters Restaurant, Nuu Muu, New Whatcom Interiors, and Village Books.

Media Contact: Mary Humphries, Development Director, maryh@re-sources.org, (360) 733-8307 ext. 204