More than 600 friends, allies, and advocates for clean water cheered as Casco Baykeeper Joe Payne was presented with the 2014 River Hero Award in Pittsburgh in early June. The award ceremony for five new River Heroes capped off four days of education, inspiration, and celebration at River Rally, an international gathering of water conservationists with River Network and Waterkeeper Alliance.
In his acceptance speech, Joe had only one admonishment for his hosts. Holding up his engraved paddle, he said, “You came with 600 too few of these.” Joe now joins a select group of 62 River Heroes chosen by River Network since 2002.
Tweets from fellow Waterkeepers during the River Rally:
Love my @Waterkeeper founding parents-they r my River Heroes, mentors & dear friends! @fishandships #JoePayne @CRKeeper @RobertKennedyJr
#JoePayne most gracious man alive “one critique of River Network: you came with 600 too few of these (awards)”@Waterkeeper #riverrally
Cyrus Buffum, Charleston Waterkeeper (@CyrusBuffum)
Joe Payne was one of the first I met in the @Waterkeepermovement. Feel so fortunate to call him a friend and mentor.
Mark Mattson, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (@waterkeepermark)
Sitting with titans of @Waterkeeper and listening to most powerful stories of #Swimdrinkfish ever…