Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues Lecture
Tuesday, November 19, 7 p.m.
MCLA Murdock Hall, Sammer Dennis Room (218)
Marion Stoddart is a citizen leader committed to a lifetime of
grassroots organizing and coalition building for positive social and
In the early 1960s, Marion Stoddart was a housewife and mother of three who decided to take on the impossible--cleaning up the Nashua River, which ran through her town and was then one of the 10 most polluted rivers in the country.
During her years of advocacy, Marion organized a massive citizen effort to rescue the river. She lobbied successfully for legislation, including the Massachusetts Clean Waters Act.
Continuing that record of success, she petitioned the Federal government for millions of dollars of promised funds to fight the pollution--and won.
Her dramatic success in mobilizing the community showed people that change was possible, even though they'd lost hope.
Today, thanks to the efforts of Marion and the Nashua River Watershed Association (the non-profit she founded), the river is clean and restored, with wildlife thriving and children swimming. The Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) is recognized nationally as a model for natural resource protection and for its community-based environmental education programs serving thousands each year.
In recognition of her work, Stoddart has received many awards including the United Nations Environmental Programme's Global 500 Award (1987).
She was profiled in National Geographic (1995) and in an award-winning children's book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry; she was a National Women's History Project Honoree as "One of the Women Taking the Lead to Save our Planet" (2009); and has published an essay in Written In Water by the National Geographic Society (2010).
A champion of international understanding and an adventurer at heart, Stoddart also founded a worldwide travel adventure business for women over the age of 40, one of the first of its kind. For over 25 years, Marion led groups of women from diverse backgrounds on trips around world to meet and learn from one another.
A role model for women and the next generation environmental problem solvers, Marion continues to empower and motivate by speaking to hundreds of professionals, students, and community organizations every year about the difference each of us can make.
This annual lecture series is named for Professor Lawrence H. Vadnais and is sponsored by the Vadnais Endowment.
2012-2013: Stephen L. Cowell
2011-2012: Elizabeth Kolbert
2010-2011: Averill H. Cook
2009-2010: Frank O'Brien-Bernini
2008-2009: Scott Weidensaul
2007-2008: Dr. William Moomaw
2004-2005: Dr. John Peterson Myers