Marine Commission seeks out next Blue Fin Award Winner

by Tori Hamby

Know someone who has gone out of his or her way to improve life on Mountain Island Lake? The Mountain Island Lake Marine Commission wants to hear from you.

The commission is collecting nominations for its annual “Blue Fin” award, which honors people and organizations that have “done positive things on or around Mountain Island Lake that benefit the lake residents and its visitors,” according to the commission.

“The commission is looking for people who have gone above and beyond the normal activities of a lake resident or user,” said marine commissioner Meg Morgan in an email to the Mountain Island Monitor. “Some have cleaned up sections of the lake, others have educated the public and most have been general advocates for cleanliness and safety. (The winner) does not have to be an individual. It can be a (Boy or Girl) Scout troop, a service club” or other organization.

Past winners include Duke Energy Senior Scientist Ken Manuel, whose work led Duke Power to periodically release grass carp into Mountain Island Lake to devour lake-clogging hydrilla; Donna Lisenby, a full-time public advocate for Southeast rivers and watersheds who helped head the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation for 10 years; Diane Willis and Randy Miller of the Mountain Island Wildlife Stewards; Doug Hord, a Gaston County Police Department officer who placed long-time trespassing issues higher on the department’s priority list; marine commissioner Pam Beck; and former marine commissioner Alice Battle.

To nominate someone, go online to
award.pdf and print and complete the application, which includes an approximately 75-word statement on why the person you have nominated should be chosen for the award. Mail or hand-deliver the nomination form to Diane Dil, executive administrator of the marine commission, 525 N. Tryon St., 12th floor, Charlotte, NC, 28202. The form can also be faxed to 704-347-4710.

Nominations will be received through Nov. 22, and a winner will be announced and recognized at the marine commission’s Dec. 7 meeting and will receive a plaque. Marine commissioners and judges are not eligible.

The commission was established through a joint resolution between Mecklenburg, Gaston and Lincoln counties to preserve and protect wildlife and public safety on Mountain Island Lake.

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