The Water’s Edge

The Water’s Edge

Each year Stroud Water Research Center hosts The Water’s Edge gala in celebration of our most precious resource — water.

This special evening allows us to bring together our friends and neighbors whose support is critical to our endeavors. Proceeds from the evening support our freshwater research, restoration, and education programs.

Presented at The Water’s Edge gala each year since 2011, the Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence, also known as the SAFE Water Award, is a prestigious award for outstanding achievement in freshwater-related activities. Learn more about the award

The 2016 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence

Photo of Jonathan Jarvis

Jonathan Jarvis. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

On the centennial anniversary of one of America’s greatest treasures — national parks — the 2016 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence (the SAFE Water Award) will be presented to the National Park Service and its director, Jonathan Jarvis.

Jarvis will receive the award during the annual Water’s Edge gala to be held on November 3 at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Jarvis’ 39-year career has taken him from ranger to resource management specialist to park biologist to superintendent of parks such as Craters of the Moon, North Cascades, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Mount Rainer. Before becoming the director of the National Park Service in 2009, Jarvis served as regional director of the bureau’s Pacific West Region. He is now responsible for overseeing an agency with more than 22,000 employees and a $3 billion budget.

Guiding the National Park Service into its second century is Jarvis’ plan, A Call to Action, which outlines ways the National Park Service will continue to preserve America’s special places throughout the 21st century. Crystal Clear — one of the points in the plan highlights how the National Park Service will continue its commitment to the health and protection of America’s freshwater systems.

The diverse areas managed by the National Park Service encompass more than 84 million acres and serve to preserve and protect freshwater resources throughout the United States, while the 280 million annual visitors generate $30 billion in economic benefit across the nation.

It is with great pleasure that Stroud Water Research Center confers this award to Jonathan Jarvis for his support of this country’s natural resources and in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which has done so much to preserve and protect freshwater resources.

Join the Stroud Center Board of Directors and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, for an informative lecture followed by an elegant dinner to celebrate the conservation of freshwater resources and 100 years of America’s national parks. Tickets for The Water’s Edge are $500 per person or $200 for young friends (21-40 years of age). Business sponsorships are $10,000 for a table of 10, and $5,000 for a table of six. Wilmington Trust renewed its support as the event’s presenting sponsor.

To purchase tickets or sponsorships, please visit

Past SAFE Water Award Winners and Speakers at The Water’s Edge

Alexandra Cousteau

2015 SAFE Award Recipient Alexandra Cousteau, founder and “Chief Water Optimist” of Blue Legacy, a non-profit organization on a mission to empower people to reclaim and restore the world’s water, one community at a time.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

2014 SAFE Award Recipient Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, president of the Waterkeeper Alliance

Jane Lubchenco

2013 SAFE Award Recipient Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. former Under Secretary of Commerce for the National Oceans and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA)

Kathryn Sullivan

2013 SAFE Award Recipient Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

John Briscoe received the 2012 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence

2012 SAFE Award Recipient John Briscoe, Ph.D. Director, Harvard Water Security Initiative; founding member World Water Council, Global Water Partnership, World Commission on Dams

Olivia Newton-John and John Easterling receive the 2011 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence from Director Bernard Sweeney

2011 SAFE Award Recipients Olivia Newton-John and John Easterling. Supporters of rainforest conservation and renowned for work in conserving the Amazon River watershed

Peter Gleick

2010 Peter Gleick. Co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute, author, MacArthur Fellow, and member of the US National Academy of Sciences

Ian Hutton

2009 Ian Hutton. Island naturalist and conservationist, researcher, eco-tourism pioneer, keeper of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Lord Howe Island

Flip Nicklin

2008 Flip Nicklin, National Geographic contributing photographer, founder of The Whale Trust

Kris Tompkins

2007 Kristine McDivitt Tompkins. Former CEO of Patagonia, Inc., founder, Conservación Patagónica and Conservation Land Trust

Wangari Maathai

2006 Wangari Maathai. Founder, The Green Belt Movement, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, author

William McDonough

2005 William McDonough, Architect and founding principal of William McDonough + Partners 2007 Time magazine “Hero of the Environment”

Sylvia Earle

2004 Dr. Sylvia Earle. Marine biologist, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, former chief NOAA scientist

Jane Goodall and Bernard Sweeney

2003 Dr. Jane Goodall. Primatologist, author, founder of The Jane Goodall Institute, mentor, United Nations Messenger of Peace