Conservation Award

The Delaware Audubon Conservation Award
1999 - Edward W. Cooch, Jr., Esq.

NOTE: This is an archive article from 1999. It may contain out-of-date information.

PHOTO: Ned Cooch"Ned" Cooch is a familiar figure on the environmental scene in Delaware. Cooch began his fondness for nature on the Delaware farm where he was born and where he still resides. He says he was prompted to get actively involved in land conservation when an oil company decided to start building in Delaware’s Coastal Zone.

Cooch joined the Board of Directors of Delaware Wild Lands, Inc. in 1962, shortly after its inception in 1961. He served in several capacities, culminating with the presidency from 1984 until 1990. He has been actively involved in nearly every purchase Delaware Wild Lands has made and has worked tirelessly for days on end during some of the more difficult negotiations.

Executive Director of Delaware Wild Lands, Holger Harvey says, "His kind and gentle demeanor combined with staunch firmness when necessary, the ability to think things through, his sometimes maddening patience and most of all incredible love of natural lands, have served him well in life and in his efforts on our Board of Directors. I am proud to consider him not only my mentor but especially my friend."

Cooch serves on the Delaware Open Space Council with Lynn Williams who says, "Ned is a dear person and he knows how to get things done. He has been a leading light in the environmental community and his credibility is without equal." Lynn reports that there are two things you can always count on hearing from Ned. "If we don't preserve the land now, it won't be there for the next generation," and "Many thanks for what you do."

Cooch is now President of the Christina Conservancy, created seventeen years ago to promote, preserve and restore the natural and historical resources of the Christina River Watershed. Cooch serves on the Steering Committee of the Annual Christina River Clean up, removing thousands of tons of trash. He single handedly raised the money for removal of three sunken barges from the confluence of the Christina and Brandywine Rivers.

Former Governor Russ Peterson says that Ned Cooch has demonstrated a deep commitment to protect the environment and that Ned is himself a valuable Delaware asset. Cooch served on the executive Committee for the Planning of the Vision for the Christina and Brandywine Rivers. He feels that each generation holds the land in trust and future generations have the responsibility to continue that legacy.

In addition to practicing law with the law firm of Cooch and Taylor which he founded in 1960, Cooch has recently been appointed to the Riverfront Development Corporation Community Advisory Group. He is a Director of the Historical Society of Delaware, a Trustee of the University of Delaware Library and is co-chair of the Capital Fund Drive to raise $1,500,000 for the new State of Delaware Archives building.

It is our privilege to honor Ned Cooch at the Annual Dinner with the Delaware Audubon Conservation Award. "Many thanks for what you do, Ned!"