NOTE: This is an archive article from 1993. It may contain out-of-date information.
On May 21, the Delaware Audubon Society will honor Lieutenant Governor Ruth Ann Minner at our annual dinner at the Maple Dale Country Club, Dover.
Ruth Ann became acquainted with nature at an early age. She was raised on a farm near Slaughter Beach. There were lots of marshes, ponds, and beautiful pinewoods where all sorts of animals could be found and observed.
Her interest in the protection of our environment has carried through her adult life. From 1988 to 1992, she served as Chairperson of the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Control Committee. Her successful legislative efforts include: Protection of the Horseshoe Crab; Limiting third-party liability of those who respond to an oil spill in the Delaware River or Bay, thus allowing speedier clean-up by companies with state-of-the-art equipment; Storm water Management and Erosion Control which sets guidelines developers must follow to safeguard against erosion and pollution caused by construction; and the Land and Water Conservation Act setting up a permanent trust fund for the preservation of open spaces throughout Delaware.
Ruth Ann admits that the horseshoe crab legislation was initially hard for her to agree with. "I had to really educate myself to understand the value of the horseshoe crab to us. Then I had to ask people who had the same attitude I had had to support me in protecting the horseshoe crab. That was the toughest environmental thing I've done." "The Land and Water Conservation Act was a little bit different. It became a challenge because so many people wanted to help. So many organizations were out there supporting us that it became almost impossible to keep up."
Ruth Ann has served as the Co-chair of the Coastal Heritage Greenways Council, a member of the Open Space Council, Chairperson of the Delaware River and Bay Oversight Committee, a member of the Governor's Clean Air Act Task Force, and in 1992 traveled to Japan with the Council of State Governments' Task Force on Global Warming.
Ruth Ann looks forward to the future. "I know we've lived a throw-away life but it's time we make a change. We need to become more aware, to understand what we're doing, how we're doing it, and why we're doing it because most of us don't understand some of the environmental problems. If Delaware citizens understood the long-term problems and what solving them is going to do for our state, they would support what we are trying to do. And most important for the future, I think we need environmental education in the schools to make our young people more aware."
Delaware Audubon honors Ruth Ann Minner, defender of our public resources and strong spokesperson for the health of Delaware's natural environment.