2019 Environmental Achievement Award
Program Director for the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association
Denise Poyer has served as the Program Director for the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association since 1994. Over the past decade, Poyer fearlessly led efforts to get both the Wood and Pawcatuck Rivers designated as Wild and Scenic Rivers. To achieve this goal, she worked tirelessly to organize countless events and meetings with stakeholders at the local, state and federal levels.
Her work, done in tandem with Rhode Island and Connecticut legislators, resulted first in a bill to study the Wood and Pawcatuck Rivers and tributaries for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system.
In March 2019, just after her retirement, these rivers were officially designated as Wild and Scenic, granting them national protection and recognition.
Without her passion, drive, organization, and dedication to these rivers, this designation would not have been possible. In the words of her nominator, “She is a true environmental advocate!”