Charlie Stek is the recipient of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay's 2007 Environmental Leadership Award.

A key advocate of Bay issues for more than 25 years, Stek has represented and advised U.S. senators and congressmen and served on Sen. Paul Sarbanes' executive team from 1985 until the senator's retirement in early 2007.

In addition, Stek was directly responsible for managing and bringing to fruition many projects and legislative initiatives that were vitally important to the Chesapeake Bay region.

One of Stek's most notable accomplishments was winning federal approval of the $307 million Poplar Island Project, which recycles clean dredged materials from the Port of Baltimore's shipping channel to create the largest habitat restoration project ever undertaken in the United States.

He also conceived and supervised legislative initiatives to create new funding for alternative transportation systems on federal lands that resulted in a reduction of congestion, improved public access, reduced air pollution and increased protection of natural resources in and around national parks, wildlife refuges and national parks.

He was instrumental in the passage of legislation that created the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and the Capt. John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.

Federal environmental, transportation and public works statutes that Stek has worked on include the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Water Resources Development Act, SAFETEA-LU and the 2002 Farm Bill.

"We are honored to present Charles Stek with the 2007 Environmental Leadership Award," said David Bancroft, president of the Alliance. "Throughout his career he has done wonderful work in Bay restoration, and we know he will continue to be a vital player for this cause today and well into the future."

Stek was presented with the award at the organization's Taste of the Chesapeake gala on Oct. 6.

The Environmental Leadership Award has been given annually since 2001 in recognition of the Alliance's former executive director, Frances Flanigan.