Conservation Award

The Delaware Audubon Conservation Award
2016 - John Flaherty

Photo: John Flaherty (right) receives the annual Conservation Award from Delaware Audubon president
Matt Del Pizzo at our Happy Heron Hour in Wilmington.

John Flaherty was honored with Delaware Audubon's 2016 Conservation Award at our annual "Happy Heron Hour" gala, held December 3rd at The Mill space in downtown Wilmington.

Flaherty was cited for his lifetime of dedicated work promoting environmental causes, open government, and other civic issues.

Matt Del Pizzo, president of Delaware Audubon, explained the selection of this year's honoree: "John Flaherty has been an effective leader for many causes in Delaware. He started as an aide in Senator Joe Biden's office, working as a liaison to labor and other civic groups. John worked as a lobbyist over the years for Common Cause, the Sierra Club, the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, and the GreenWatch Institute.

"He worked hand-in-hand with Delaware Audubon and other environmental groups to get the scrubber towers installed at what is now the Delaware City Refinery. During that time, Delaware Audubon, Green Delaware, and John Flaherty traveled from Salem County, NJ to Washington, DC – and many places in between – to obtain environmental justice.

"John also worked to keep Delaware hearings open and transparent to the public. We have all benefitted from John's long, hard-fought efforts. For these reasons we award John Flaherty our 2016 Delaware Audubon Conservation Award."

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Flaherty referred to the victory of getting scrubber towers installed at the Delaware City Refinery, and the joint efforts to make that victory happen. He thanked many people in the environmental community, including Alan Muller of Green Delaware and Matt Del Pizzo of Delaware Audubon. "We had to fight like hell," Flaherty said. "It's amazing that you have to fight to enforce the law."

His award was an art print of Delaware's Legislative Hall, where Flaherty has spent so much of his career fighting for environmental and social justice.

For a complete list of previous Conservation Award recipients, click here.