Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award


The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is seeking nominations for the 2023 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award.

This annual Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions in the protection and stewardship of the natural environment of the North Olympic Peninsula. The award pays tribute to Eleanor Stopps, whose vision, advocacy and determination exemplify the power and importance of community leadership.

From the 1960s through the 1990s, Eleanor Stopps was an active member of the Pacific Northwest conservation community. Stopps founded the Admiralty Audubon Chapter and took over the work of Zella Schultz to protect the nesting habitat for 72,000 pairs of seabirds nesting on Protection Island. She was also a tireless educator working with groups of students and Girl Scouts to raise environmental awareness.

Stopps recognized the need to protect the uniquely important marine environment of the Salish Sea. With no special political base or powerful financial backers, she formed a coalition of grassroots supporters who worked to get legislation and public support for the preservation of Protection Island and the surrounding waters. She was a primary driver behind the establishment of the Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge in 1982, one of the few established by the U.S. Congress at that time. Today, it is a critical habitat link in the preservation of the entire Salish Sea region, providing breeding habitat for pigeon guillemots and rhinoceros auklets, bald eagles and peregrine falcons, harbor seals and elephant seals, and a myriad of other species.

The Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to a citizen (groups not eligible) of the North Olympic Peninsula (Jefferson and Clallam counties) who has:

  • Led a successful resource conservation effort that benefits the North Olympic Peninsula and its residents directly;
  • Acted as a community catalyst for programs, initiatives or ventures that demonstrate a commitment to the future of the earth and its biodiversity;
  • Become a model for future leaders in business and education; or has been an exemplary citizen or policy maker who has implemented decisions that, though they may entail risks, have helped our communities take the next step towards environmental sustainability.


The Port Townsend Marine Science Center is pleased to sponsor this award and invites nominations so we can continue to recognize positive leadership.
You may nominate someone by downloading and completing the nomination form below.
You may also email info@ptmsc.org, or call (360) 385-5582 to request a form.

Nominations must be submitted by email to info@ptmsc.org no later than August 31, 2023.

You may nominate someone by
downloading and completing the nomination form.
(Word document)




Previous winners include: 

  2005 Katharine Baril, educator and planner Washington State University
  2006 Anne Murphy, Executive Director, Port Townsend Marine Science Center
  2007 Tom Jay and Sara Mall Johani, artists and environmentalists
  2008 Al Latham, Jefferson County Conservation District Ranger
  2009 Peter Bahls, NW Watershed Institute
  2010 Sarah Spaeth, Executive Director, Jefferson Land Trust
  2011 Dick & Marie Goins, salmon habitat restoration activists
  2012 Judith Alexander, community catalyst for NW Earth Institute, Local 20/20, and EarthDay EveryDay
  2013 Rebecca Benjamin, Executive Director, North Olympic Salmon Coalition
  2014 Ray Lowrie, salmon advocate and environmental educator
  2015 Jude Rubin, co-founder of the Northwest Watershed Institute
  2016 Dr. Pete Schroeder, marine mammal veterinarian
  2017 Dr. John Fabian, Astronaut and founder of the Hood Canal Coalition
  2018 Sarah Doyle, North Olympic Salmon Coalition & Dr. Eloise Kailin, co-founder of Olympic Environmental Council

Cheri Scalf, Wild Olympic Salmon, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


Connie Gallant, the Olympic Forest Coalition, the North Olympic Group of the Sierra Club, the Olympic Forest Collaborative 


Lorna Smith, Western Wildlife Outreach, Olympic Forest Coalition, Jefferson Planning Commission, Jefferson County Conservation Futures Committee