Home » About Us » Friend of the Bays Awards

Friend of the Bays Awards


On Friday, December 13, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays presented four “Friends of the Bays” awards to Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Scott Andres, Jerry Daugherty, and Bill Hitz for their support, partnership, and volunteering excellence benefitting Delaware’s Inland Bays.

Mark Carter and Renah Scudlark of Dogfish Head were the 2019 recipients of the “Friends of the Bays” Award in the Business category

Dogfish Head has been a Friend to the Center in a number of ways.

Anna Short (Fundraiser at DE Inland Bays), Mark Carter (Dogfish Head: Beer & Benevolence), Renah Scudlark (Chesapeake & Maine), and Victoria Spice (Restoration Project Manager at DE Inland Bays)

Mark Carter, Director of the Beer and Benevolence program, is a good-natured guy who is always willing to help, no matter how busy he is. During 2019, he worked with the Town of Dewey Beach, East of Maui, and Center’s staff to put on the inaugural Race to Benefit the Bays, a kayak and paddleboard race which raised $1,500 for the Center. In 2018, he coordinated Dogfish Head’s major sponsorship of the Oyster Gardening program; he has always found a way to contribute to our annual fundraiser, Decked Out; and of course, he makes sure that we’ve got plenty of beer for every party we throw.

Chesapeake & Maine has been a Don’t Chuck Your Shucks participating restaurant since 2017. Since their start, we’ve collected 663 bushels of shell (about 20 tons) from the restaurant, which makes about 1,326 mesh bags. We used less than that to construct two pilot oyster reefs last summer! 

Scott Andres and Dr. Marianne Walch (Science and Restoration Coordinator at DE Inland Bays)

Scott Andres was presented with the “Friends of the Bays” Award in the Partner category. Scott has a long history of supporting the Center through both professional and personal leadership that extends back to the development of the original 1995 CCMP. And from 2012 through this past year he served the Center as Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors.

He is a senior scientist and hydrogeologist with the Delaware Geological Survey, a leader in the study of coastal groundwater, and his work has greatly advanced our understanding of groundwater dynamics and Delaware’s natural resources. He probably has as much knowledge and understanding of the science of the Inland Bays as anyone in the state. More than that, Scott is an excellent communicator and facilitator, and throughout his career, he has used his abilities to speak clearly and without bias about the scientific data that supports – or does not support – policy and management decisions. For that reason, many people – including the Center – seek his participation and leadership in working groups, review panels, and professional committees. 

Jerry Daugherty (left), Bob Collins (Program Manager at DE Inland Bays), and Bill Hitz (right)

Last but certainly not least, the 2019 “Friend of the Bays” Award in the Volunteer category was presented to Jerry Daugherty and Bill Hitz.

Bill Hitz has been helping at the James Farm Ecological Preserve for almost five years, and the James Farm staff would be lost without him. He is a retired research Ph.D. from Dupont, but his true value to the Preserve is his western Kansas farm upbringing – “If there is something broke, you had to fix it yourself or do without it.” Bill has done so much for the James Farm: from mowing the pasture, watering trees with a tank implement, helping cut trees, installing trail material, and lately assisting with invasive weed species control.   

Bill has done numerous other things to help the Center like the Horseshoe Crab Surveys, the Don’t Chuck Your Shucks recycling program, helping with living shorelines and oyster reefs, serving on a committee to select an engineer for Phase One of the James Farm Master Plan.

“The Farm wouldn’t be the valuable community asset it is without Bill’s contributions, nor would the Center and it’s many programs,” said Bob Collins, Program Manager for the Center. Bill, thank you so much! 

Jerry Daugherty has been an almost daily presence at the James Farm this past year. He’s been an immense help in making the Phase One improvements happen, moving huge piles of wood chips, spreading them out, constructing the walking path and watering the new plants. He also worked on trail maintenance, cutting back vegetation, and spreading wood chips. When we were asked to make more benches so we could accommodate more school children at the Farm, Jerry put the job together. 

Jerry also helps with other of the Center’s projects like installing oyster reefs in Rehoboth Bay, Oyster Gardening and cleaning up the Don’t Chuck Your Shucks shell pile. 

Thank you, thank you, and thank you to all our 2019 Friend of the Bays awardees!


On Friday, November 16, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays presented three “Friend of the Bays” awards to Sussex County Council, Waste Industries, and John Austin (posthumously), for their support, partnership and volunteering excellence benefitting Delaware’s three Inland Bays.

Patti Deptula (recently retired Sussex County employee in charge of special projects), Chris Bason (Exec. Director at DE Inland Bays), Gina Jennings (Finance Director), George B. Cole (County Council), Irwin G. Burton (County Council), Todd F. Lawson (Sussex County Administrator)

Sussex County Council was presented with the “Friend of the Bays” Partner Award for their long-term excellence in implementing the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Inland Bays.  Center Director, Chris Bason, highlighted the Council’s successful long-term initiative to provide central sewerage that converted 29,000 septic systems to sewer over a period of 30 years.

“We’re very proud to be presenting this award to our partners at Sussex County Council,” Bason explained. “Their perseverance in providing wastewater treatment is  integral to improving the health of our Inland Bays. The Council’s support for the James Farm Ecological Preserve each year also helps to educate the next generation of children about the importance of protecting the Bays.   

Bryan Kastor and Kristy Chmelski of Waste Industries were the 2018
recipients of the “Friend of the Bays” Business AwardFor several years, Waste Industries has been a generous partner of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays.

Not only have they financially supported Center projects such as the Inland Bays Cleanup, but they have consistently participated in and provided services for Center events. Upon accepting the award, Bryan Kastor told the audience that he credits outdoor experiences as a child for his passion for the Bays and for outdoor recreation.

Bryan Castor (Waste Industries), Bob Collins (Program Manager at DE Inland Bays), Kristy Chmelski (Waste Industries)

Last but certainly not least, the 2018 “Friend of the Bays” Volunteer Award was presented to Martha Austin in honor of her late husband John Austin.

John was well-known in the community for his dedication to protecting Delaware’s environmental treasures. John was a fierce advocate for the Inland Bays.

“John was a tireless fighter for clean water in Sussex County. His work continues.”said the Center’s Board Chair, Dr. Susie Ball.



Karen Collins (daughter of John Austin), Dr. Susie Ball (DE Inland Bays Board Chair), and Martha Austin (wife of John Austin)

“He was a long-standing member of our Citizens Advisory Committee — to which he was a major contributor through communication about sources of pollution to the Inland Bays.”

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays is a non-profit organization established in 1994, and is one of 28 National Estuary Programs. With its many partners, the Center works to preserve, protect and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed.





Volunteer Award: Ab Ream

Partner Award: Town of Dewey Beach

Business Award: Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill

Director’s Award: Members of the 147th General Assembly of the Delaware State Legislature for their passage of House Bill 160 (shellfish aquaculture in the Inland Bays)

Special recognition: Greg Thompson and Carly Collins were honored for their contributions at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.


Volunteer Award: Ron Kernehan

Partner Award: Town of South Bethany 

Business Award: Banks of Banks Wine and Spirits in Millville

Director’s Award: Members of the 147th General Assembly of the Delaware State Legislature for their passage of House Bill 160 (shellfish aquaculture in the Inland Bays)

Special recognition: Greg Thompson and Carly Collins were honored for their contributions at the James Farm Ecological Preserve.


Volunteer Award: Cheryl Rehrig

Partner Award: Town of Bethany Beach/Bethany Beach Nature Center

Business Award: Good Earth Market



Volunteer Award: Barbara & Gary Jayne

Partner Award: Town of Bethany Beach (Bethany Nature Center)

Business Award: Bethany Blues

Director’s Award: Erik & Elaine Rifkin



Recipient: Ron Wuslich, Chair, Citizens’ Advisory Committee

Recipient: Graham Purchase. Awarded posthumously for his many years of involvement as a Citizens’ Advisory Committee member, Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee member, CWMP participant, and overall great watershed steward. Graham brought passion, a keen mind, and a scientist’s disposition to his work on behalf of the Center for the Inland Bays. The award was kindly accepted by his wife, Nancy.



Recipient: Ed Whereat, Program coordinator of the University of DE Citizen Monitoring Program



Pat Drizd receives her award (2006)

Pat Drizd receives her award (2006)

Recipient: Patricia Drizd, a volunteer who has served as CIB Volunteer Coordinator Delaware 

Recipient: Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation accepted by Ken Farrell, Park Administrator of DSSP and Gary King, Manager of the Indian River Inlet Marina in DSSP.



Recipient: Bob Collins, CAC Chair and volunteer