March 30, 2023
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Watershed Stewards Academy to honor Erik Michelsen

WSA initiated the Ron Bowen Environmental Legacy Award in 2018 to honor the transformational leadership of former Director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works and co-founder of the Watershed Stewards Academy, Ron Bowen. This award recognizes the contributions of an individual from the government or non-profit sector who exemplifies visionary leadership and fosters environmental action through connecting government and private resources.

“One of Ron’s proudest roles was as a co-founder of the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy. Ron recognized that we could maximize our environmental action by combining the resources of Department of Public Works with an engaged population of trained environmental leaders. Ron’s organizational and technical skills were crucial in developing WSA’s mission and structure,” said Stephen Barry, co-founder of WSA and former Anne Arundel County Public Schools Coordinator of Outdoor and Environmental Education at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, together with members of Ron Bowen’s family, will present the Ron Bowen Environmental Legacy Award to Erik Michelsen, Administrator of the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program, at WSA’s Annual “Spring into Action” Conference on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Northeast High School in Pasadena, MD. The WSA Conference is open to the public, with early bird registration open until February 1, 2019 and regular registration extending until February 18.

“Not only does Erik help build infrastructure around the restoration movement in Anne Arundel County, but he helps connect the pieces to make the movement work on a large-scale. Erik has helped create many dedicated places where Stewards are able to find resources, funding, and are able to execute projects in their communities,” said Kate Fritz, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Master Watershed Steward. “Erik, much like Ron, continues to collaborate and coordinate work across the restoration movement in Anne Arundel County. Erik leaves a legacy of dedicated funding available at different scales of implementation, across Anne Arundel County, enabling a predictable future of action and implementation for cleaner water.”

About WSA: The Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) develops citizen leaders, Master Watershed Stewards, to promote community change for clean waters. Master Watershed Stewards take action with their neighbors to address the problem of storm water pollution and restore local waterways in Anne Arundel County. Since 2009, Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy has certified over 220 Master Watershed Stewards from Brooklyn Park to Herring Bay. Collectively, those leaders have installed over 2,500 projects from rain barrels to stream restoration and engaged over 135,000 Anne Arundel County neighbors to learn and take action to clean our waterways.

More information on the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy may be found at or by contacting Katie Foster, Development and Communications Coordinator, at [email protected] or (410) 222-3831.

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