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COTI names Erick Lindblad Citizen of the Year

By Staff | Mar 29, 2011

Barbara Joy Cooley, right, president of the Committee Of The Islands, presents SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad with his Citizen Of The Year award.

SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad was named Citizen Of The Year by the Committee Of The Islands at its annual meeting on March 25.

Barbara Joy Cooley, the committee’s president, presented the award to Lindblad. She noted his long service on behalf of protecting Sanibel’s environment and, most recently, for heading up the major drive to acquire the Bailey Homestead property for preservation by SCCF.

In citing Lindblad’s accomplishments, Cooley pointed out that he has, for the past 25 years, been the executive director of the Conservation Foundation here on Sanibel. He has worked tirelessly to lead it in its efforts involving land acquisition, wildlife and habitat management, marine and water quality research, natural resource policy advocacy and environmental education.

Cooley further pointed out that Lindblad serves on Lee County’s Conservation Lands and Stewardship Advisory Council and its Land Management subcommittee, as well as the Babcock Ranch Board and the board of the Florida Communities Trust, which is the state’s conservation land acquisition program.

Also, Cooley announced a Past President award for Jim LaVelle, who served as president of the committee from March 2009 to March 2010. Both recipients were presented with Luc Century glass sculptures commemorating their service.

Speaker cites right to clean environment (SUBHEAD)

Prior to the awards presentation, the membership heard an inspired address by Carolyn Raffensperger titled, “Sanibel: A Legacy For Future Generations.”

Raffensperger, who was previously with the Sierra Club, is an environmental attorney who serves as Executive Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network (SEHN). She described a newly emerging approach to environmental law known as the Precautionary Principle, which is based on the view that future generations have a right to a clean environment, and that a sense of stewardship should inform the actions and conduct of present generations to ensure that right is preserved and the environment is protected.

Following a question-and-answer session after the presentation, a number of audience members expressed an interest in more information about the Precautionary Principle and Raffensperger’s remarks. Such information is available on SEHN’s website at www.sehn.org.

New board members, officers elected (SUBHEAD)

New members to the Committee Of The Islands Board of Directors were also elected at the meeting, in addition to officers for the coming year.

The new board members are Jim Beauchamp, Phyllis Gresham, John Harries, Martin Packard and Ruth Woodham. Re-elected for a second two-year term were board members Jill Dillon and Wayne Ponader.

Barbara Joy Cooley was re-elected as the committee’s president, as were Mike Gillespie, vice president, and Bud Reinhold, treasurer. David Bath was elected as secretary.

The Committee Of The Islands was founded in 1975 by those who had worked to establish Sanibel as an independently-governed city within Lee County. Its mission is to help ensure the continuity of good local government, to protect the environment, and to preserve the sanctuary character of our barrier island community.

For more information, visit the committee’s website at www.coti.org or send an e-mail to coti@coti.org.