The River Institute recently held its 29th Annual General Meeting and is pleased to announce the Board of Directors for 2023-2024: Debora Daigle (Chair), Mike Pescod (Vice Chair), Jackie Baird (Treasurer), Scott Lecky (Secretary), Abraham Francis, Jean Marc Gladu, Clement Gwanyama, Channelle Martel, Mireille Lemire, Scott Gagnon, Sylviane Duval, Kayla Sunday, Andrew Guindon, Jennifer Haley, Dean Hollingsworth.
“I am pleased to continue for another year as Chair of the Board of the St Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences,” said Debora Daigle, returning Chair of the Board. “It was wonderful to celebrate the outstanding successes of the entire organization at the Annual General Meeting, and we look forward to the implementation of the current Strategic Plan over the coming years. As was noted, a focus on the environment is becoming more and more prominent among the general population. The River Institute is well-positioned to contribute through its work, not only to the health of the St Lawrence River, but also to the sustainability of surrounding ecosystems in this region and beyond.”
Dr. Jeff Ridal, Executive Director, added “the River Institute has grown into an internationally recognized research centre that works closely with communities to address concerns, develop new information about the River and inform environmental decision makers.”
As part of the meeting, the River Institute staff presented “A Year of Inspiration” year in review and impact report. A recording of this presentation can be viewed on the River Institute’s YouTube page: www.youtube.com/@RiverInstitute1994/.
At the event the River Institute Board Chair, Debora Daigle, also presented the 2022 and 2023 River Awards. The River Award was established in 2009 to coincide with the River Institute’s 15th Anniversary. The Award recognizes and celebrates members of the community who have demonstrated exemplary respect and care for the St. Lawrence River and its watersheds.
The 2022 Award recognized Abraham Francis’ exceptional commitment to protecting the health of Kaniatarowanenneh (the St. Lawrence River), engaging communities along the river, and research and advocacy dedicated to empowerment and healing within Indigenous Communities. Abraham is Kanienkehaka from Akwesasne and Deer Clan and recently became a Ph.D. student at Clarkson University studying Environmental Science and Engineering. Previously, Abraham was the Environmental Services Manager for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.
The 2023 Award recognized Chris Moran’s leadership on a project to help address shoreline erosion in the St. Lawrence River with the Great River Network, as well as his commitment to volunteerism and dedicated support for local and regional environmental initiatives. Chris is retired from the Engineering Design Group at Hydro Ottawa, has served on advisory committees for a number of organizations, and is member of both the St. Lawrence River Restoration Council and the Great River Network.