Keynote Speaker: Collin O'Mara
Slater Mill in Downtown Pawtucket
Monday June 1, 2015 5:30 to 8:00pm
The Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) 2015 Annual Meeting featured a celebration of Rhode Island’s new -- and first -- National Park. The Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park was established when President Obama signed legislation on December 19, 2014, to help preserve, protect, and interpret the industrial heritage of the Blackstone River Valley. This is the 402nd national park in the United States, and a significant recognition for our region. However, this is just the beginning of the work to fully develop the park. Our annual meeting provided an opportunity to learn about this project.
We met at the historic Slater Mill in downtown Pawtucket on the banks of the Blackstone River. Our keynote speaker was Collin O’Mara, the new President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. Other speakers from the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the National Park Service also participated.
ECRI is the Rhode Island affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation, and we were delighted that Collin O’Mara came to speak. Previously, he led the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (2009-2014) and was the youngest state cabinet official in the U.S. His initiatives in this position included:
- Delaware’s "No Child Left Inside"/ Children In Nature campaign
- the First State Trails and Pathways Plan
- The Delaware Bayshore Initiative, part of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative
- More than $200 million invested in environmental infrastructure, such as stormwater management and beach restoration