Mike Kennish received the 2011 Pearl S. Schwartz Environmental Award


September 14, Mike Kennish received the 2011 Pearl S. Schwartz Environmental Award given by the League of Women Voters for academic research and public outreach in New Jersey. Named for Pearle S. Schwartz, statewide advocate for coastal environments, Kennish is honored for outstanding achievement in estuarine and marine environmental research.

Michael J. Kennish, a research professor in the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, received the 2011 Pearle S. Schwartz Environmental Award given by the League of Women Voters at its Ocean County ceremony on September 24.

The award, presented to Kennish for lifetime achievement in academic research and public outreach, cites his “outstanding achievement in estuarine and marine environmental research.” His seminal work on Barnegat Bay and the coastal ocean waters of New Jersey were particularly noted by the League of Women Voters. The league also highlighted his exemplary service in the areas of outreach and science education to the residents of the state, particularly in coastal communities.

“Pearle S. Schwartz was a tireless advocate for protecting coastal environments in New Jersey and it is an honor to be recognized by this exceptional organization that has worked so tirelessly for the betterment of contemporary society,” said Kennish, when notified of the award.

Kennish never refuses an invitation to speak to high school students, community organizations, and the general public on coastal environmental issues in the state, was lauded by the League of Women Voters during the ceremony. “The state of New Jersey has benefited greatly from Mike’s passion to preserve and protect its coastal environments,” read the award.

“It’s critically important to inform our shore communities about the human and natural impacts that threaten the long-term sustainability of our coastal environments and resources,” explains Kennish.

He has produced a prodigious volume of scholarly work on coastal environments for many years. Most notably, Kennish has been heavily engaged in integrative ecosystem assessment, particularly investigations of impairment and remediation of impacted estuarine and coastal marine environments in New Jersey.

“I’ve been privileged to be able to study the dynamics of environmental forcing factors and other stressors that generate imbalances in biotic community structure and ecosystem function of the state’s waters,” he said.

His research has been multidisciplinary in scope and innovative in nature, providing new tools that support effective coastal resource management. Beyond his basic and applied research, Kennish’s outreach efforts have provided the public with vital clarity and understanding of the complex problems and challenges facing coastal environments and communities and what they will need in the future to remain healthy and vibrant.