Hackensack Riverkeeper
231 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
201-968-0336 (FAX)

October 27, 2011


Contact: Captain Bill Sheehan or Emilio DeLia


Annual event honors representatives from the legal, business communities

Hackensack Riverkeeper, the leading clean water advocacy organization working in the Hackensack River Watershed, hosted its 12th annual Awards Celebration & Sustainable SeafoodFest on this evening at the Hasbrouck Heights Holiday Inn. As in previous years, the fundraising event featured a cocktail reception provided by Whole Foods Market in Ridgewood that included delicious, sustainably-harvested seafood and a wide selection of appetizers.

In addition to a salmon and crab dinner, the evening featured a silent auction, raffle drawings and the presentation of awards to deserving honorees. The 2011 Friend of the Hackensack River awards were given to an individual and a company who are making a difference for the environment; and in so doing aid in the recovery of the Hackensack River.

“The ones we honor today represent what it means to stand with Hackensack Riverkeeper and stand up for our mission to protect, preserve and restore the river and its watershed,” said Captain Bill Sheehan, Riverkeeper and Executive Director. The honorees are:

• Edward R. Bonanno former Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Bureau Chief and Deputy Attorney General for Environmental Crimes in the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General. Over the years Mr. Bonanno and his team were responsible for prosecuting both high-profile and low-profile environmental crimes. Among their successful prosecutions were the Columbia Terminals (Kearny), Eastern Concrete Materials (Newark) and Secaucus Crowne Plaza cases.

• Whole Foods Market for its eleven years’ support of Hackensack Riverkeeper; and for the company’s ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainability. Whole Foods has provided both financial and in-kind support to Hackensack Riverkeeper since 2000 including several Five Percent Days; and the company’s now-annual BBQ at Riverkeeper’s Reservoir Challenge. Whole Foods’ Public Relations/Public Affairs Manager Michael Sinatra accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Award-winning WNBC-TV reporter Brian Thompson served as Guest Emcee for the evening. Thompson, who first met Captain Sheehan in 1999 during the tumultuous Meadowlands Mills hearings, was praised for his ongoing reporting of news from the Meadowlands – the natural Meadowlands – for News 4 New York.

“Over the years Brian has shown himself to be the only network affiliate reporter who consistently covers Meadowlands stories,” said Sheehan. “And his reports always illustrate the reality of the region, not the caricature. In short, Brian tells the truth about the Meadowlands.”

According to Development Director Emilio DeLia, overseeing his first Awards Celebration fundraiser, noted that income from ticket sales exceeded last year’s figures; as did sponsorship and event journal income.

“It’s my hope that our success is just the tip of the iceberg,” said DeLia. “When nonprofits can succeed, that’s usually proof that our economy is moving forward.”

For more information about the work of Hackensack Riverkeeper, visit www.hackensackriverkeeper.org or call 201-968-0808.

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