Maine Marine Resources Dir. of Education Awarded for Work

IMG_7245 (1)
Elaine Jones is presented the 2016 Visionary Award by Don Hudson of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.

Elaine Jones, the Department of Marine Resources’ Director of Education has received the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment’s 2016 Visionary Award.

The annual award recognizes innovation, creativity, and commitment to protecting the marine environment. Recipients may work in the fields of environmental science, education, conservation or policy. They may be engaged in projects that involve public awareness, grassroots action, or business/manufacturing practices.

Jones was presented the award during the organization’s annual meeting on June 7th in Fredericton New Brunswick.

Jones, who has led the Maine Department of Marine Resources Education Division since 1991, was recognized for her work developing programs for Maine students, teachers and residents, along with designing and constructing the Maine State Aquarium, which attracts about 40,000 visitors every summer.

Jones was also honored for spearheading efforts to secure Burnt Island for the Department and restoring the Burnt Island Light Station into an educational and recreational facility unequaled in New England. In 2003 she initiated a living history program on site that attracts thousands of people every summer.

The award also recognized Jones’ efforts to conduct outreach programs to schools and colleges around the State, supplying classroom aquarium systems with marine animals, working on educational programs with the Marine Patrol as “Officer SALTY”, and establishing aquarium based internships for students at the University of New England, University of Maine at Orono and University of Maine at Farmington.

“This is a well-deserved award for Elaine,” said Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “She is a visionary leader for Maine students, educators and residents, guiding and supporting their appreciation of Maine’s marine environment.”

“I accepted the award on behalf of a lot of DMR people who have assisted me along the way. They are all unsung heroes,” said Jones.

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is a regional partnership among Gulf jurisdictions in the United States and Canada that works to protect and enhance environmental quality.