GCV Conservation and Beautification Chairman Wendy Vaughn,
Dugdale Award recipient Bill Portlock and GCV President Nina Mustard

William S. (Bill) Portlock has spent his life teaching, researching, writing and consulting about, photographing, and modeling conservation at the local, state, and national levels. Since 1981 when he joined the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Bill Portlock has been a soldier for conservation and restoration of Virginia’s natural resources. As Virginia Field Director he began the Foundation’s Environmental Education Program. In 1989, he launched “Teachers on the Bay” proposing that “The Chesapeake Bay is a natural resource that needs a knowledgeable and caring public to restore its health and manage it wisely.” This hands-on environmental course offered each summer to Virginia teachers was developed in partnership with St. Margaret’s School, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the University of Mary Washington. The course is now in its 28th consecutive year. Beginning in 2000, Portlock led students, teachers and community volunteers in environmental restoration efforts, including riparian buffer tree plantings, submerged aquatic vegetation and tidal wetlands restoration, and oyster restoration. He advises schools and communities on the use of rain gardens, rain barrels and native wildflower meadows to capture storm water pollution. For 43 years, he has been committed to ornithology as an observer and participant on Audubon Christmas Bird Counts. In 1987 he initiated a mid-winter Bald Eagle Survey that first documented a notable concentration area of bald eagles on the Rappahannock River. He continues this survey annually in coordination with the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary. His photographs of the flora and fauna of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries have graced many publications, including a book by the National Geographic.

“As citizens, we have a responsibility to provide future generations with the knowledge, skills and motivation needed to make informed environmental decisions that are certain to be part of their future,” said Portlock. 


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