Conservation Award

The Delaware Audubon Conservation Award
2001 - Thomas B. Sharp

Please Note: This is an archive article from 2001. It was accurate at the time it was written, but may now be out of date.

State Senator Thomas B. Sharp received the Delaware Audubon Society Conservation Award on May 7, 2001.

Senator Thomas B. Sharp, President Pro Tempore of the Delaware State Senate, has sponsored resolutions that helped form and protect one of the state's outstanding natural resources, the White Clay Creek watershed. He sponsored a resolution in 1979 recognizing the White Clay Creek and its environs as one of Delaware's outstanding resources and calling for its preservation.

Sharp has taken an active and aggressive role in preserving the White Clay Creek Valley. He sponsored many resolutions that laid the groundwork for adding over a thousand acres to the White Clay Creek Preserve. He supported the formation of a bi-state advisory body. He continues to consistently support land acquisition and open space.

The acquisition of the Judge Morris property, a 500-acre addition to White Clay Creek State Park, would not have been possible without his interest and negotiating skills.

Sharp has been a leader in the effort to bring about more responsible and effective land use procedures and to establish effective controls over rampant development and expansion of infrastructure in Delaware's suburban areas. He has been a staunch advocate of the philosophy that the residents of an area should have a major voice in determining future development patterns for their area.

As Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District Senator Sharp was instrumental in recycling more than six tons of computer equipment. The equipment was processed by Delaware Solid Waste Authority for reuse/resale or parts recovery and not landfilled.

Previous Award recipients have high praises for Senator Sharp:

Lynn Williams says, "He was the main negotiator with the University of Delaware for the Judge Morris Estate. Both Ned Cooch and I accompanied him to those meetings and witnessed his creative approach to the negotiations. I enjoyed working with him."

Dorothy Miller comments, "Tom has been active for a long time in public land acquisition. He has rescued several Bond issues at the zero hour. He is doing a great job on the Open Space Council."

Don Sharpe says, "He has always bent over backwards to help us. I don't think anybody else could have gotten the $12.5 million that was needed for funding the Judge Morris Estate but Tom Sharp. It is great to work with him."

Ned Cooch states, "Tom Sharp's constant effort to preserve Delaware's vital natural resources deserves the thanks and recognition of all Delawareans. His unfailing support of preservation in both the Open Space Council and the General Assembly has been the keystone of the conservation effort. The preservation in perpetuity of the 500 acre Morris Tract is a monument to his work to make Delaware a better place in which to live and work."

An avid boater and fisherman with a love for the Delaware Coast and its maritime heritage, Senator Sharp has also been a leader in the effort to ensure the preservation of Delaware's earliest surviving lighthouse, the Fenwick Island Lighthouse on the state's southern border with Maryland.

Senator Sharp feels that we have an obligation to our grandchildren to leave them something of Delaware that they can enjoy, clean air to breathe and clean water to drink and swim in. "I would hope that my grandchildren, if they want to, can go camping, can take their children camping and that they can do all the things that we were able to do as young people, take a walk in the woods and see some wildlife."

He would like to impress on our grandchildren that they must take care of the environment, to protect as much of it as they can. He would encourage them to get involved in state government or any other organization that would provide them an opportunity to be involved in protecting and preserving the environment.

Born in Wilmington, Senator Sharp attended Conrad High School. He presently serves as Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District. Senator Sharp and his wife Judy are residents of Pinecrest. They have three children and three grandchildren.