RE Sources to honor new 'environmental heroes'

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 26, 2013 

Charlie Maliszewski, Jean Melious, Alex Ramel, Saul Weisberg, and co-recipients Seth Fleetwood, Dan McShane and Sharon Roy have been named 2013 environmental heroes by RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

They will be honored at a Sept. 5 banquet at Lairmont Manor. Here's what the group wrote about the honorees:

"Charlie Maliszewski is not only a model of sustainability in his personal life - as an avid bicycle commuter, gardener, and volunteer - he has also devoted hundreds of hours as a volunteer for environmental causes. Most notably, Charlie has played an active role as a key leader, mentor, and supporter of three highly impactful sustainability organizations in Whatcom County: RE Sources, Sustainable Connections and Futurewise Whatcom."

"Jean Melious is a teacher, attorney, community leader and activist who has contributed her expertise and free time to protect our environment. When she's not teaching Huxley students about land use, environmental law, policy and dispute resolution, she is fighting for smart planning and political awareness to improve our environment. Jean also has a powerful private practice as a law partner of Nossaman LLP, representing groups on matters involving the environment and land use."

"Alex Ramel is a champion of renewable energy, green building, and smart growth for our region through his work as the energy and policy manager for Sustainable Connections, co-creator of the Community Energy Challenge and volunteer for Washington Conservation Voters. Created in collaboration with the Opportunity Council, the energy challenge's work has resulted in an annual reduction of greenhouse gases equal to 1,071 cars taken off the road and has put our region on the map as national leaders in energy efficiency. In his free time, Alex plays a leadership role in local politics to help environmental champions win elections."

"Saul Weisberg is the executive director and co-founder of the North Cascades Institute. Under his leadership, the institute has grown from two part-time staff members to a highly respected nonprofit organization with over 40 employees. The institute now operates the LEED-certified North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, helping thousands of people to discover the wonders of the natural world while emphasizing the importance of taking care of it."

"Seth Fleetwood, Dan McShane and Sharon Roy are leaders with foresight who together made remarkable strides in sustainable county planning and management during their terms as Whatcom County Council members. During their tenure from 2002-2010, Whatcom County made huge strides toward solving many important issues, such as appropriate land use and zoning, strong protections for water quantity and quality, stormwater management, reduction of pollution, land preservation, shoreline protections, and sensible growth strategies. They accomplished this bold work in the face of much opposition and at great personal sacrifice."

Reach JULIE SHIRLEY at julie.shirley@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2261.

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