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Fred Akers is among this year’s Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award winners
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Fred Akers is among this year’s Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award winners

Fred Akers among this year's Governor's Environmental Excellence Award recipients

Steve Jasiecki/Fred Akers digs a trench for the platform post, while Bill Stuempfig rigs ropes to straighten an osprey nest at Shooting Island in Pecks Bay.

GEEA Awards  12-20-2021TRENTON Environmentalist Fred Akers, administrator of the Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association is one of eight recipients of 2021 Governors Environmental Excellence Sullivan Awards Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced Monday.

The honorees for this year’s award were recognized for their dedication to improving New Jersey’s environmental protection practices. They included mitigating climate change, improving living conditions, providing training for people in environmentally fragile communities, and setting preservation goals that would help local farmers.

LaTourette said that we are lucky to have so much forward-thinking organizations who work every day to ensure that future generations have a healthy environment. I am honored to recognize the Governors Environmental Excellence Awards winners and the Sullivan Award recipients for their dedication to creating a stronger, more equitable New Jersey through outstanding environmental leadership.

Akers has spent more than 20 years in service to the Great Egg Harbor Watershed, monitoring, assessing and improving its water quality. His projects address the interconnected issues of stormwater management and land conservation as well as pollution reduction and habitat protection.

Akers passion for environment protection, combined with his deep understanding and appreciation of local issues and communities, is what has made him a success. He continues to build on his success by continuing to work with critical projects, research and advocacy for New Jersey’s environment.

Capt. Bill Sheehan, a Hackensack River Watershed area resident since his youth, is the honoree. He is a dedicated conservationist and foundedHackensack RiverkeeperIn 1997, he became the organization’s executive Director.

A panel made up of judges assessed the nominations based on criteria such a documented environmental benefit, contributions to meeting state environment needs, replicability and leadership by others. Education and outreach were also included in the evaluation.

The 2021 awards were given virtually, and video of the ceremony is available on theDEP websiteFacebook page. DEP social media channels will feature excerpts from the presentation as well as videos of the honorees throughout December.

Visit to learn more about this program and the


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