In June, Aquarion Water Company announced the winners of the ninth annual Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards at a ceremony held at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo. Raina Jain, a Greenwich High School student, was recognized for developing a way to stop mites from entering and destroying bee hives.
Aquarion received hundreds of nominations from across the state for volunteer projects that have significantly contributed to the improvement of the environment through the protection, conservation, restoration and stewardship of Connecticut’s water, air, soils, and plant and wildlife habitats. Awards were given in six categories: Large Business, Non-Profit Organization, Communications (individual or organization), Adult and High School Student (Grade 9-12).
“Aquarion is proud to recognize the many outstanding efforts to protect and enhance Connecticut’s natural resources,” said Charles V. Firlotte, President and CEO of Aquarion Water Company. “We offer a special ‘thank you’ and heartfelt congratulations to the organizations and individuals recognized this year for their work to preserve the environment.”
This year’s business, nonprofit, communications, and adult winners received a $2,500 grant to the environmental nonprofit of their choice; the winning student received a $1,000 prize. The winning entries for 2019 are:
Raina Jain, Riverside – Raina, a junior at Greenwich High school, set out to develop a way to stop mites from entering and destroying bee hives. She designed a hive entrance that inoculates bees with a calibrated dose of a natural pesticide, which is extracted from common plants like thyme and bee balm. Raina is now getting feedback on her invention from beekeepers and farms across the U.S., and has already qualified to compete at several prestigious science fairs.
PSEG, Bridgeport – PSEG will soon bring the Greater Bridgeport region 485 megawatts of clean, highly efficient and sustainable generating capacity through the new Bridgeport Harbor Station. When completed in summer 2019, the new natural-gas powered station will provide energy to more than 500,000 homes and businesses. Thanks to its state-of-the-art design, Bridgeport Harbor Station will end the discharge of chemical pollutants and heated water into Bridgeport harbor. The Station will also feature a top-of-the-line air quality control system, substantially reducing air emissions in the area.
Trust for Public Land, New Haven – The Trust for Public Land is a nationwide non-profit organization founded in 1972. It is dedicated to creating parks and protecting land to ensure healthy, livable communities for generations to come. In Connecticut, the Trust has protected 7,500 acres of open spaces, watershed lands, parks, and working farms and forests. It partners with towns, agencies, land trusts and other organizations to preserve our state’s most cherished places.
Yale Environment 360, New Haven – Yale Environment 360 is an award-winning online magazine which, since 2008, has provided to a worldwide audience opinion analysis, reporting, and debate on global environmental issues. Published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, it features original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news.
Dr. Mitch Wagener, Danbury – Dr. Mitch Wagener is a Biology Professor at Western Connecticut State University. Among his substantial professional contributions is the development of a series of presentations, workshops and briefings on climate change. Dr. Wagener has engaged both university audiences and the community, developing what has become a highly popular, annual seminar series that is free and open to the public.
Mary Hogue, Fairfield – In 2017, Mary Hogue began to develop a sustainability plan her hometown of Fairfield, working with a group called the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force. Her efforts resulted in Fairfield receiving the highest possible accreditation by the statewide Sustainability Connecticut organization, and also led Mary to co-found Sustainable Fairfield County, a multi-town organization which helps communities reduce their environmental impacts in affordable, impactful ways.