Mass Audubon Salutes River Advocate at Annual Meeting
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA— Each autumn, a highlight of Mass Audubon’s Annual Meeting is the presentation of the Allen Morgan Award, named for the late environmental crusader and former President of the respected conservation organization.
Morgan helped lead the fight to protect the Commonwealth’s wetlands in the 1960s and ’70s. So it was fitting that at the October 24 meeting, the 2013 award went to Marion Stoddart, who during this same period of environmental awakening spearheaded the effort to save the Nashua River, which winds from Fitchburg into northwest Middlesex County before emptying into the Merrimack River at Nashua, New Hampshire.
During her years of advocacy on behalf of the river—which runs through her town of Groton—Marion organized a massive effort to restore the waterway long polluted by paper mill discharges and sewage. She lobbied successfully for state legislation, including the groundbreaking Massachusetts Clean Water Act, and held the federal government to its promise of providing millions of dollars to fight the degradation.
She also was a co-founder of the Nashua River Watershed Association in 1969.
Marion’s inspirational story of doggedness and achievement on behalf of the Nashua River and the communities through which it flows was the subject of a documentary film, Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1,000, which has garnered national recognition for its subject.
Mass Audubon protects 36,500 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts’ largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state’s natural treasures for wildlife and for all people—a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women. Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 125,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today’s and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at massaudubon.org.