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Putnam, Doll Earn Regional Sea Grant Honor


Katie Mosher, 919-515-9069,

Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gloria Putnam, Jack Thigpen and Barbara Doll
Gloria Putnam, Jack Thigpen and Barbara Doll. Photo by Rhett Register.

Gloria Putnam and Barbara Doll of North Carolina Sea Grant have earned the Mid-Atlantic Sea Grant Outstanding Achievement Award for their leadership roles in the Currituck Goes Green Initiative. The award was presented at a recent meeting in Corolla that included Sea Grant colleagues from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.

For more than five years, Doll and Putnam have worked with Currituck County leaders and staff on efforts to make water quality and environmental protection a priority in achieving economic and environmental sustainability for their coastal county. Other partners include NC Cooperative Extension including the Master Gardeners program, North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, North Carolina Coastal Federation, University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute, the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership and many members of the community.

“The professionalism and dedication of Barbara Doll and Gloria Putnam has been an asset to Currituck County,” says Ben Woody of the Currituck Planning and Community Development Department. “Through the hard work of Barbara and Gloria, Currituck County has become a leader in sustainable development techniques for our region.”

“We are proud that Barbara and Gloria played key roles in helping to identify needs and then find expertise and resources to address those needs,” says Jack Thigpen, North Carolina Sea Grant extension director. For example, a grant from APNEP was obtained and combined with county allocations to fund a redesign of stormwater ponds and establish a wildlife garden that have been models for other communities.

“We enjoy working with such an outstanding group of elected officials, appointed boards, local staff and the community. The county’s resulting development ordinance reinforces a commitment to water quality,” Doll notes.

“Sustainability does not have to be grandiose or expensive. When taken together, small accomplishments can add up to a big success,” Putnam adds.

Doll, a water protection and restoration specialist, and Putnam, coastal resources and communities specialist, also have been leaders in a southeast regional tidal creeks initiative that includes Sea Grant programs and other partners in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.

A licensed professional engineer with a doctorate in biological engineering, Doll led the large Rocky Branch stream restoration and greenway project on the NC State campus. She also organizes and presents at workshops providing continuing education for planners, landscape architects and engineers.

Putnam helps communities and local governments incorporate coastal resource protection into their planning and development strategies. She has organized training for local elected and appointed officials and authored publications including The Sustainability Series.

NOTE TO EDITORS: The Currituck Goes Green Initiative was featured in North Carolina Sea Grant’s Summer 2012 issue of Coastwatch magazine and the Holiday 2010 issue.

North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast