Avondale, PA – Amid the rustic setting of a fourth-generation farm turned restaurant and event space, Stroud Water Research Center bestowed the 2021 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence to Melissa D. Ho, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Freshwater and Food at World Wildlife Fund, on Thursday, November 4 at the 19th annual The Water’s Edge gala.
The Water’s Edge gala is presented by Wilmington Trust and annually recognizes an individual or organization that makes a lasting impact on our freshwater systems.
Approximately 200 guests enjoyed learning about Dr. Ho’s work to support the conservation of freshwater ecosystems and the sustainability of agricultural systems through landscape and transformational initiatives. After the award presentation, guests enjoyed a specially curated dinner of fare from farms throughout the Brandywine Valley region.
“We often do not value how finite our freshwater resources are, especially in the face of climate change, which is shifting the hydrologic cycle and causing extreme events across the planet. The majority of global freshwater withdrawals, often 70% or more, are used for agricultural production, so in order to conserve and protect our precious freshwater resources, the lifeblood that must sustain people and nature for generations to come, food systems transformation must include improved agricultural water management systems, technologies, practices, and policies. I am grateful that the 2021 Stroud Center award highlights the interconnections between agriculture, fresh water, and climate as a critical theme for water conservation and stewardship. I am humbled and proud to accept this award on behalf of the Freshwater and Food team at WWF,” said Dr. Melissa D. Ho, Senior Vice President, Freshwater and Food at World Wildlife Fund.
Executive Director David Arscott, Ph.D., commented after the event, “We are so grateful for the many sponsors and guests who support the Stroud Center and its mission, and who have helped us honor others in pursuit of freshwater excellence. We were thrilled to be able to recognize Melissa D. Ho’s commitment to stewardship of our freshwater systems through agriculture and sustainability.”
Since its inception in 2003, The Water’s Edge has featured an impressive list of individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the world of science, fresh water, and conservation. Previous speakers and Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence recipients have included luminaries such as Jane Goodall; Olivia Newton-John and John Easterling; American Rivers and its president, Bob Irvin; His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco; The Redford Center; Alexandra Cousteau, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and others.
About Stroud Water Research Center
Stroud Water Research Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and restoration and to help businesses, landowners, policymakers, and individuals make informed decisions that affect water quality and availability around the world. Stroud Water Research Center is an independent, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization recognized as a global leader in the field of freshwater science, environmental education, and watershed restoration, with a secondary location studying tropical ecosystems in Costa Rica.