The Save Owls Head Provincial Park group – a grassroots movement of over 8,000 citizens and scientists – is honoured with second place in the Ecology Action Centre’s Tooker Gomberg Award. Environmental activist Jacob Fillmore won first place.
The Ecology Action Centre
June 29, 2021
Originally published here.
EAC’s 2020/2021 Annual Awards Winners
Since 1976, the Ecology Action Centre has been giving out awards at our Annual General Meeting to formally recognize some of the best, the worst, and the most dedicated of the environmental movement in the past year.
In 2021, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary as an organization. As we reflect on a half-century of environmental action, we know that none of it would have been possible without the countless groups and individuals who have dedicated themselves to the vision of a sustainable, equitable future here in Mi’kma’ki and beyond. The Annual Awards are an opportunity for us to show our gratitude and appreciation to some of the people making important contributions to environmental progress in our communities.
Our staff, board of directors and volunteers submit their nominations, which are voted on by staff and board members. The top three from each of the four categories are announced at our AGM each year.
Here are this year’s winners:
Danielle Moore Sunshine Award
The Danielle Moore Sunshine award is given to a group or an individual who has made a particularly effective effort in an environmental issue in Nova Scotia during the prior year. In 2020, this award was renamed in honour of Danielle Moore, a bright light who had a truly incredible impact on the environmental movement in Nova Scotia and beyond, and whose time with us was tragically cut short. This award honours those who carry on Danielle’s legacy of brave, enthusiastic, optimistic action on behalf of our environment.
Glace Bay Changemakers Group
The Glace Bay Changemakers youth group have been dedicated to developing a school environment that promotes safe active transportation. They were concerned about the state of an informal pathway used by 800+ students daily to get to and from the school. They conducted mobility audits, developed a vision for a safe pathway and pedestrian bridge, met with key stakeholders, gathered community support, helped write funding proposals and gained over 100k in funding to make their project a reality. The pathway and bridge will be implemented this summer. They consistently wowed us with their great ideas, keen awareness, flexibility, determination and ability to act cooperatively to help their community become a more vibrant, liveable, and safer space.
Extinction Rebellion NS
For their ongoing organizing and advocacy on behalf of our forests, mobilizing hundreds of people to call for a clearcutting moratorium until the Lahey report could be implemented fully, and effectively bringing the issue into the public eye for an extended period of time.
For their excellent and effective work in advocating for affordable housing in Halifax, securing rent increase caps and a ban on evictions during the pandemic and bringing this very important issue into the political discourse.
Tarred Duck Award
The Tarred Duck Award is presented to a group or individual who has acted in violation of environmental issues or advocated for economic development without consideration for the environment.
Forest Nova Scotia
For using lobbying dollars to mislead private land owners and rally a cry against the essential Biodiversity Act, resulting in much less effective legislation and continued threats to biodiversity in Nova Scotia.
For repeatedly crying poor in relation to their pension commitments and clean up obligations in NS while their parent company Paper Excellence continues profitably and is now spending billions to acquire Domtar Paper.
For their plans to carve up our province with destructive and polluting open-pit gold mines that no one needs.
Bubby Mooers Award
An award created in memory of Bubby Mooers. A carpenter by profession, he was also well known for his exceptional folk art. As an active EAC member he gave generously of his time, with the EAC’s annual Garden Party auction benefitting regularly from Bubby’s humorous and sensitive donated artwork. The Bubby Mooers Award is given to an individual or group who has given of themselves, either over time or in the past year, to environmental issues in Nova Scotia and to the Ecology Action Centre in particular.
For engaging as the first-ever citizen ‘intervenor’ in Nova Scotia’s new Aquaculture Review Board (ARB) process. The ARB will decide on a Cooke Aquaculture expansion proposal at Rattling Beach in the Annapolis Basin later this year. On short notice and without hesitation, Gregory stepped up to apply for intervenor status in the interest of protecting wild Atlantic salmon in the Annapolis watershed from the risks of open net-pen aquaculture. His unrelenting spirit through a highly involved and challenging ARB process has been energizing and inspiring for all of those in his orbit.
Dr. Danika van Proosdij at Trans Coastal Adaptations
Danika has worked incredibly hard to secure all kinds of federal funding to support coastal restoration work in Nova Scotia – including dyke realignment and wetland restoration. She is tireless, a wonderful collaborator (she has SMU and Dal working closely together on several initiatives) and a teacher, leader and mentor to all kinds of up and coming brilliant scientists and environmental leaders-to-come.
Paula Davis, Director of Marketing, Recreation, Tourism and Culture, Town of Port Hawkesbury
After 43 years of working for the Town of Port Hawkesbury, Paula Davis is retiring. Whether wearing her “municipal staff” hat or her “concerned citizen” one – Paula has been a catalyst for so many amazing changes in her community. In particular, she has been a key advocate for initiating and implementing her municipality’s Active Transportation trail, helped create and maintain the town’s community gardens, and also was essential in the pump track being established. She has been consistently engaged in AT work across the province and has even assisted with some of the EAC’s work in AT research over the years.
Tooker Gomberg Award
Tooker Gomberg was a Canadian political and environmental activist, known across Canada for his clever and effective advocacy towards environmental justice and his media charisma. From Golden Turkey Awards to Burying a Car, to Robin Hood at the Toronto Stock Exchange, Tooker knew how to garner media attention. A truly inspiring individual. With Tooker as our “greenspiration”, the Tooker Gomberg Award goes to the person or event that most creatively and brilliantly made the news in the past year.
For bringing crucial media attention to the issue of clearcutting and overharvesting in NS forests, at great personal sacrifice to himself, through a 23-day hunger strike.
The Save Owls Head group
Despite pandemic-related challenges, the group has continued to raise awareness and increase engagement in protecting Owls Head and calling for government accountability. They build on the success of their very popular Facebook page and developed an extensive website, and provided the public with images and research findings from the Owls Head site. Their on-the-ground presence over the past year included a lawsuit, a rally, multiple radio interviews and call-in shows, and more Save Owls Head stickers and signs. The Save Owls Head group was also nominated in the category of the Sunshine Award!
Cow Bay Environmental Coalition
For their continued fight for environmental protection of their community and the species in the area after the closure of the Donkin Mine on the Donkin Peninsula in Cape Breton Island. The old mine continues to be vent, methane, directly into the atmosphere at an enormous rate.