MDE, DNR and Maryland Petroleum Council Present 37th Annual Tawes Awards for a Clean Environment

MDE, DNR and Maryland Petroleum Council Present 37th Annual Tawes Awards for a Clean Environment

Tawes and Coulter Awards recognize outstanding environmental achievements of individuals, groups and government employees  


Samantha Kappalman
Adrienne Diaczok

ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 21, 2014) – The Maryland Department of the Environment, Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Petroleum Council today presented the 37th annual Tawes Awards for a Clean Environment to an environmental science class  at Northern Garrett High School in Garrett County and the Boonsboro Environmental Commission in Washington County. Chuck Ulm of the Maryland Comptroller’s Office was honored with the ninth annual James B. Coulter Award.
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More Information:
The awards are co-sponsored by MDE, the Maryland Petroleum Council and DNR to recognize youth, adults, and private and public organizations involved in the restoration and protection of Maryland’s natural resources. The Tawes award, given to both adult and youth awardees, is named in honor of J. Millard Tawes, governor of Maryland from 1959 to 1967 and first secretary of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The James B. Coulter Award, named after Maryland’s second DNR Secretary, acknowledges environmental contributions by a government employee.

Winner Information:

Northern Garrett High School:  Tawes Youth Award Winner

  • Northern Garrett High School students are being honored for their achievements with the Cove Run Brook Trout stream restoration project – a partnership between the students and the local community including private, public and governmental sectors.
  • Using grants from DNR, Maryland State Highway Administration and Governor O’Malley’s “Explore and Restore your School Shed” initiative,  and including partnerships from numerous non-profits, businesses and government entities students were able to:
    • Install fencing to create a buffer on both sides of the stream.
    • Plant 160 trees and seedlings, including 60 red osier dogwoods, 10 black willow trees, 50 silky dogwoods and 20 witch hazel seedlings
    • Remove invasive plant species such as multi-flora rose and Japanese barberry to help with the establishment of the planted trees and shrubs.
  • As a result of their efforts, student-led water quality collection data shows that the health of the stream continues to improve as several pollution-sensitive organisms are present.

Boonsboro Environmental Commission:  Tawes Adult Award

  • The Boonsboro Environmental Commission began its work in December 2012. The purpose of the Commission is to: develop and promote a healthy environment through sound conservation and sustainable practices; encourage responsible waste management and energy and resource conservation; and study other issues that affect the health and well-being of the citizens of Boonsboro.
  • The Commission’s accomplishments include:
    • Facilitating energy audits to be performed on four Town buildings.  Recommendations will be incorporated into the energy reduction and renewable energy action plan for Boonsboro.
    • Sponsoring a Boonsboro Middle School teacher’s attendance at the Annual North American Association for Environmental Education Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
    • Obtaining technical assistance from the University of Maryland to help develop a Storm Water Management Program for Boonsboro.
    • Coordinating efforts for a $37,500 Maryland Energy Administration Smart Energy Communities grant to be used on renewable energy and energy reduction projects.
    • Assisting with the Town-wide bulk trash (and recycling) clean-up in October 2013 and a stream buffer planting (279 trees) effort in Shafer Park in November 2013.
  • The Commission is also a member of the Maryland Green Registry, a free-program run by MDE with the purpose of bringing green businesses together to exchange ideas and create opportunities for collaboration.

Chuck Ulm, Office of Maryland Comptroller – Coulter Award

  • In his position at the Office of the Maryland Comptroller’s Motor Fuel Tax Division,  Ulm provides guidance and support to the citizens of Maryland and the regulated petroleum community of Maryland.  
  •  As a member of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Oil, his expertise in motor fuels and the development of regulations has been instrumental in assisting MDE in the development of regulations for several programs. By sharing his knowledge and his experience with nationwide fuel issues he has assisted Maryland in staying at the forefront of the protection of our air and water resources.


“We are proud to honor these environmental leaders for giving their time and talents to protect our State’s precious resources and the Chesapeake Bay. Through their actions, they not only help preserve the air, water and land that we share, but also make their communities and Maryland a better place to live.”
— Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

“It’s because of the important efforts of citizens like the Tawes and Coulter award winners that we are creating a healthier and more sustainable Maryland.”
–Frank Dawson, Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

“The Maryland Petroleum Council has enjoyed working with MDE and DNR for 37 years acknowledging Maryland citizens for their environmental stewardship.  All of today’s recipients deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions to protecting Maryland’s natural resources.”
–Drew Cobbs, Executive Director, Maryland Petroleum Council


View images from today’s event on MDE’s Flickr page.

Additional Information:

J. Millard Tawes
James B. Coulter
Past Tawes Award Winners

MDE Mission:

Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland’s air, water and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.