The Chesapeake Bay Foundation named Mary Kilbourne, an environmentalist from Upper Marlboro, MD and the Norfolk Rotary Club its 1999 Conservationists of the Year.

Meanwhile, Gary Heath, chief of instruction for the Maryland Department of Education, and Catherine Roberts, a teacher at W.E. Waters Middle School in Portsmouth, VA will receive the Foundation’s Environmental Educators of the Year Award.

  • Mary Kilbourne, a naturalist at Patuxent River Park, has been involved with CBF efforts for more than 16 years. She has led such restoration projects as oyster gardening and forested buffer plantings. Gov. Parris Glendening named Kilbourne to the Patuxent River Commission and she is also a member of the Prince George’s County Commission 2000.

  • The Norfolk Rotary Club was honored for its efforts to build and stock oyster reefs in the Lafayette River. The club, through fund-raising and matching grants, raised $100,000 in private, state and federal grants for reef protection and helped to build two reefs. Club members are continuing to raise funds for more reefs.

  • Gary Heath has been instrumental in making Maryland a national leader in environmental education. He helped to establish the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators and the Governor’s Green Schools Award. He also had a critical role in helping to develop the Foundation’s award-winning environmental education program.

  • Catherine Roberts has taught seventh grade life science in Portsmouth public schools since 1975 and has received national recognition for her Bay-focused model of environmental education. Her curriculum weaves oyster lessons through each of the major disciplines. She is also a key supporter of local oyster restoration activities and is leading a drive to create a new sanctuary oyster reef in the Elizabeth River.

The Foundation has awarded the Conservationist of the Year award since 1980, when the first recipient was one of the CBF’s founders, Arthur W. Sherwood.

The education award recognizes individual in the education field who have contributed significantly to the understanding of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem through an academic program. The award was created in 1998.

Each of the winners will receive $1,000 and a bronze osprey bust by sculptor David Turner.