UNH employee wins international award for Gulf of Maine stewardship

Thursday, August 15, 2019
Abigail Lyon receives award plaque from Gulf of Maine Council.

Courtesy Photo

Abigail Lyon '12 '15G is being recognized as a tireless advocate for clean water in the Gulf of Maine.

Lyon, who serves as the community technical assistance program manager for the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP), has received the 2019 Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. This annual award, which honors innovation and commitment to protecting the Gulf of Maine, is bestowed upon two individuals or organizations from each state and Canadian province within the council’s international jurisdiction. Lyon and other award recipients attended the ceremony on July 10 in Hubbards, Nova Scotia.

"We are incredibly proud of Abigail's vision and achievements in addressing the region's most pressing water quality and environmental issues,” says Rachel Rouillard, director for PREP, which is part of the UNH School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering. “Her dedication as a PREP staff member and to our numerous partners in both New Hampshire and Maine is unwavering and has resulted in successful implementation of priority programs in biological monitoring, municipal ordinance adoption, and stakeholder engagement and education. We are so pleased that the Gulf of Maine Council recognized her exceptional work with this prestigious award."

As part of her work with PREP, Lyon works closely with municipal leaders to help them improve local regulations and land-use decisions and coordinates various beach and shoreline cleanup efforts with volunteers. She helps to organize and manage various PREP projects that offer technical assistance to empower town board members who need to make decisions that impact the Piscataqua Region’s watershed, which includes Great Bay, the Hampton-Seabrook Estuary and the Gulf of Maine. Lyon also serves on the New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, a collaborative organization dedicated to assisting coastal communities in preparing for extreme weather and climate change effects.

“It is an honor to be a recipient of the Visionary Award, particularly with such an outstanding group of recipients from across the Gulf of Maine region,” Lyon says. “It is worth noting, too, that the efforts I was recognized for would not have been possible without the other environmental champions I’ve had the pleasure to work — and play — with over the years. Thank you to those who work with me in the trenches and champion these issues."