Jean Auer Award

We are accepting nominations for the 2017 Jean Auer Environmental Award.

The San Francisco Estuary Partnership is seeking nominations of individuals for the Jean Auer Environmental Award. The award is given in memory of Jean Auer, a beloved Bay Area environmentalist whose groundbreaking efforts were directed particularly at improving water management in California. The award will be presented at the thirteenth biennial State of the Estuary Conference, October 10-11, 2017, at the Scottish Rite Center near Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Criteria for eligibility

Nominees from the public and private sector are eligible. Individuals should have made a significant contribution toward improving environmental quality in the Bay-Delta Estuary. Nominees working on water-related issues will receive special consideration.

How to submit a nomination

Nominations should include the name, address, phone number and e-mail address of the nominee, together with a one-page description of the nominee’s accomplishments and rationale for his/her selection. Please include your own name and contact information. The San Francisco Estuary Partnership Selection Committee will make its decision in August, and nominees will be notified of the results in September.

Mail or e-mail nominations to:
Darcie Luce
San Francisco Estuary Partnership
1515 Clay St., Suite 1400
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 622-2448 (office)
darcie.luce@sfestuary.org

Nominations must be received by 5:00 PM, Friday, July 28, 2017.


Jean Auer Environmental Award

Every two years at the State of the Estuary Conference, the San Francisco Estuary Partnership presents the Jean Auer Environmental Award to an outstanding individual to honor his/her significant contribution toward improving environmental quality in the Bay-Delta Estuary. The award is given in memory of Jean Auer, a Bay Area environmentalist, whose ground-breaking efforts were directed particularly at improving water management in California.

Jean Auer headshot

Jean Auer, born in Youngstown, Ohio, played a prominent role in California’s water issues for over thirty years. She first learned about water issues with the League of Women Voters and was appointed to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.When her family moved to San Francisco she was appointed to the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. The Auers moved to Hillsborough in 1973, where she was elected to the Town Council and as mayor.

From 1972 to 1977, Jean served as a public member of the State Water Resources Control Board, voting on regulations to control pollution and establish water rights. Judge Ron Robie, associate justice of the State Court of Appeal in Sacramento, who served with Jean on the board, called her “a marvelous person of great spirit, enthusiasm and intelligence…She was really courageous and not at all timid.’’

Starting in 1987, Jean worked on the management committee of the San Francisco Estuary Project (now Partnership). Marcia Brockbank describes her ability to forge agreements, saying, “She was a phenomenal woman, a consummate Renaissance woman.” In 1991, Jean became the second female president of the Commonwealth Club, and for the next decade ran a fellowship program for young professionals at the nonprofit Water Education Foundation. Jean is survived by her three beloved sons, Lance, Grant and Brad Auer.


Past Recipients

Past recipients of the award include

  • Zeke Grader, former executive director of the Institute for Fisheries Resources
  • Dr. Howard Shellhammer, a longtime champion of the Bay Area’s wetland and marsh ecosystems
  • Sylvia McLaughlin, co-founder of  Save the Bay
  • Carl Wilcox, Bay Delta Regional Manager, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Trish Mulvey, citizen activist with the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
  • Tom Graff, attorney with Environmental Defense
  • Marcia Brockbank, former director of the San Francisco Estuary Project
  • Will Travis, former executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
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