[Editor’s Note: Jody Connor is a long-time friend of Ossipee Lake, and it’s a pleasure to reprint this DES news release celebrating his receipt of two important achievement awards].
Concord – January 11, 2009 — Since coming to work for DES in 1979, Jody Connor has dedicated his life to the protection and restoration of surface waters in New Hampshire. Jody created programs at DES that continue to protect state lakes and ponds from the impacts of cultural eutrophication, invasive species and toxic pollutants.
These programs and the tireless education efforts put forth by Jody have empowered lake and watershed residents to become actively involved and educated in surface water protection. For these reasons and more, DES limnologist Jody Connor was recognized, on two separate occasions, with the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council, and with the David S. Chase Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievements in Science from DES.
Through legislation, education, research, and selfless dedication, Jody Connor has elevated the state of New Hampshire as a national leader in lake and pond protection, empowered and educated thousands about lake ecology, limnology and watershed management, and become the face of New Hampshire Lakes.
The Gulf of Maine Visionary Awards are made annually to individuals or organizations within each of the five Gulf of Maine jurisdictions of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The awards recognize innovation, creativity, and commitment to marine protection by businesses, environmental organizations or individuals who are making a difference to the health of the Gulf of Maine.
The Chase Memorial Award was named in honor of David S. Chase, who served as the state’s DES Radon Program Manager for 16 years and who passed away in 2008. The award was created this year to recognize a DES employee whose scientific accomplishments have made a significant impact on our understanding of the environment, of how to improve its condition and prevent future problems.
It is extremely difficult to provide a “brief” background on why Jody Connor was named for these prestigious awards. Here are but a few of his key accomplishments in New Hampshire and the Gulf of Maine watershed:
He initiated state legislation to create the following programs: the New Hampshire Volunteer Lake Assessment Program at DES in 1985, which has grown to 175 lakes and ponds with over 500 volunteer monitors throughout the state; the Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Program and Comprehensive Shoreland Protection Act managed by DES and enacted into law in 1991.
Also, the DES Exotic Species Program created in 1981; the DES Clean Lakes Program; the DES Public Pool and Spa Program; and the DES Beach Inspection Program.
Jody has also written legislation to ban phosphorus from laundry detergents (1990s) and more recently to close the loop and ban phosphorus from dishwashing detergents (2009). He created the Interactive Lake Ecology Program for schools in New Hampshire and around the world; initiated one of the first cyanobacteria monitoring programs at beaches in the country; and assisted New Hampshire towns to create the first watershed district/ overlay ordinances in the state.
Jody also pioneered the use and acceptance of volunteer-generated data by government agencies. He provides lake residents, associations and towns with education/outreach on water quality issues by speaking at numerous meetings and workshops throughout the year, particularly on weekends and evenings during the summer months. Not only does he present at association meetings, conferences, and workshops, but he also handles thousands of phone calls and emails about lake issues each year.
The list could go on. Jody is a highly skilled environmental leader in our state; but what makes him stand out is his true love for our water resources and his passionate commitment to protecting them for the future.