For more than 50 years, Anderson’s conservation work has had a major impact on the health of Maine’s marine resources, making the outdoors a better place for all of us.
FREEPORT, Maine, December 8, 2009 — As a passionate outdoorsman and conservationist, Dick Anderson enjoys digging for surf clams, casting to shad and striped bass on a running tide, calling turkeys into shotgun range, or leading Audubon cruises to study bald eagles on the Kennebec River. But for more than 50 years, most of Anderson’s waking hours have been spent addressing Maine’s most pressing marine resource problems and doing so as a volunteer.
In recognition of his longtime and enthusiastic devotion to marine conservation, Anderson was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Coastal Conservation Association-Maine (CCA-Maine) during that organization’s annual meeting on Monday December 7th at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. Pat Keliher, Director of the Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries & Habitat, Department of Marine Resources, presented the award to Anderson.
“Conserving Maine’s natural marine resources is what really motivates Dick Anderson,” Keliher said in his presentation remarks. “And when this exuberant man gets behind a cause, it is next to impossible to slow him down. He has worked on very complicated issues like fish passage, habitat protection and netting regulations, and he has been instrumental in or directly responsible for some of the most important marine resource decisions in Maine over the years.”
“Dick Anderson’s professional credentials are certainly impressive, but he also has a special innate ability to get those around him fired up about a cause,” Keliher continued. “One of CCA-Maine’s greatest accomplishments was the removal of the Smelt Hill Dam on the Presumpscot River. Although that battle dragged on for almost five years, Dick Anderson worked tirelessly to rally the troops and promote the project goal of restoring diadromous fish to a river that was nearly destroyed by 200 years of industrial use. It was Dick Anderson at his best – not giving up until the dam was finally breached.”
About Dick Anderson
A native of Brockton, MA., Dick Anderson graduated from the University of Maine in 1957 with a BS in Wildlife Conservation. During his long career in conservation, he was a fisheries biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Executive Director of the Maine Audubon Society, and Commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation. He is the founder of the International Appalachian Trail and currently serves as president of the Maine chapter.
Anderson was a co-founder of CCA-Maine in 1991 and became the organization’s first executive director. He played major roles in implementing Maine’s initial menhaden netting ban in the Presumpscot River and in securing passage for diadromous fish up the Presumpscot through removal of the Smelt Hill Dam. Anderson also led the charge to achieve game fish status for American Shad in Maine’s tidal rivers and successfully campaigned for bait netting regulations to help stop the indiscriminate killing of striped bass and diving birds on the Kennebec River. As a young fisheries biologist working for Maine IF&W, Anderson was the first person to expose the negative effects of DDT spraying on landlocked salmon in Sebago Lake.
During the Anderson Award ceremony, a check for $1000 was presented to the Maine Department of Marine Resources for striped bass tagging efforts on behalf of CCA-Maine and the Yarmouth Boatyard as a result of proceeds generated from this past summer’s Royal River Striped Bass Tournament.