The 2021 CARE Business/Organization Stewardship Award was presented to Stephanie Murphy, Woods Hole Sea Grant Communications Specialist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Stephanie was recognized for spearheading a program that resulted in a significant reduction of plastic in the waste stream due to a successful boat shrink-wrap program. Working in collaboration with a number of municipalities, an estimated 15-20,000 pounds/7.5-10 tons of shrink wrap were collected in the 12-week period and diverted from the waste stream.

The Youth Award is presented to an individual or youth group who is age 18 or younger. This year’s recipient, Zoe Simmons, is a Harwich resident and student at Nauset Middle High School. She is a reporter for the school’s paper: The Nauset Current who uses the platform to speak up for Cape Cod’s beauty and how to enhance it. Last semester she authored two articles to promote the health and well being of our local environment. The first was titled “How to Protect Our Oceans” in which she gave her readers a long list of things they could do on a daily basis to protect our local coastlines. The second was “How to Help Fight Climate Change.” For this story she interviewed Jon Bruce, the land stewardship coordinator for the Brewster Conservation Trust.When she isn’t working on the school paper she is an active member of OPAK’s Club The Blue Crew, a place where students come together to learn about and advocate for our blue planet.

Director Jill Talladay said, “We believe that it’s important to recognize and encourage those individuals and organizations that are doing amazing things to take care of this special place. Our stewardship awards are presented to those who go above and beyond, on a regular basis.”

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