Denise Poyer, 2019 Environmental Achievement Award Winner

2019 Environmental Achievement Award

Denise Poyer

Program Director for the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association

Denise Poyer's tireless efforts for the Wood and Pawcatuck rivers earns her Save The Bay's 2019 Environmental Achievement Award.
Denise Poyer’s tireless efforts for the Wood and Pawcatuck rivers earns her Save The Bay’s 2019 Environmental Achievement Award.

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!”

*Please note:  Be sure to access the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus through the main entrance on Harborside Blvd. Your GPS may suggest taking Ernest Street to JWU’s Shipyard Street entrance, but that route requires a key card for entry.  

From Route I-95 North or South, take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue). Head downhill on Thurbers Avenue to US Route 1A (Allens Avenue). Turn right onto Allens Ave. Continue southbound on Allens Ave. into Cranston, where Allens Ave. becomes Narragansett Blvd. Turn left onto Harborside Blvd. at the traffic light by the Shell gas station. Follow Harborside Blvd. through the Johnson & Wales Harborside Campus. At the end of Harborside Blvd., turn right onto Save The Bay Drive. Save The Bay Drive becomes a circular, one-way roadway as you approach the Bay Center. Parking is available in four guest lots after you pass the main building. Enter the building through the main entrance.


August 26, 2021

Dear Friends, Supporters and Community Members, 

At this time, Save The Bay’s facilities in Providence and Westerly remain closed to the public in response to COVID-19.

The Exploration Center and Aquarium in Newport reopened Monday, July 5, with new hours and visiting procedures in place.

Save The Bay is offering volunteer and internship opportunities with new policies and procedures for the health and safety of all involved.

Our staff continues to protect and improve Narragansett Bay, working both remotely and on-site. If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone (401-272-3540) or email (, or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.