Kicking off an annual honoring of exceptional people and organizations in a given field can be daunting enough, but Coastal Georgia advocacy group One Hundred Miles, and again in reference to the length of the Peach State’s coastline, named and honored its first One Hundred Miles 100 following a reception Saturday at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.
OHM CEO Megan Desrosiers said that for people who have spent any time working on conservation or environmental preservation and protection, the amount of work can appear intimidating.
“Sometimes you feel that the odds are stacked against us, and the challenges that we face are overwhelming,” Desrosiers said. “But, amidst the dark clouds, there are shining stars among us. Those shining stars shine bright both on the dark days and they also shine bright on the sunny days. Their persistence, commitment and success is something that carries all of us forward. I hope and believe that we can make a difference.”
The 100 people and organizations included were split among a number of categories. There are the coastal stewards, which are people who “devote their professional lives to protecting and preserving the environmental, cultural and historic resources” of the coast.
Also honored are researchers and innovators who make their impact in the scientific community, the business leaders that demonstrate leadership in conserving and enhancing the coast, community advocates who advocate for their coastal homes, artists who highlight the beauty and challenges of the coast, writers who raise awareness of critical issues, civic leaders who push for and influence positive public policies, educators whose work “inspire appreciation and respect” for the coast, and the next generation, which are students and young professionals who bring their talents to the fore for the coast’s future.
“The 100 people we are celebrating were nominated and chosen because they are steadfast, strategic and successful,” Desrosiers said, later adding, “Without them, Coastal Georgia would be a much different place.”
The last category of honorees was the legacy leaders, which are those who in the past and now made “a lasting and significant impact” for the Georgia coast.
David Pope, the executive director of the St. Simons Land Trust, presented those honorees.
He said in giving the presentation that it was a special honor as so many named are friends, colleagues and visionaries who made a significant impact on him and his work personally.
“Congratulations to you all — every award was well-deserved,” Pope said. “The American writer James Baldwin said, ‘We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it.’”
To view all of the people and groups honored, and their biographies, go to onehundredmiles.org/ohm100.