(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has awarded its Conservationist of the Year Award to Michael D. Hankin, President/CEO of the independent investment firm of Brown Advisory. Mr. Hankin is unique in his ability to unite businesses, environmental groups, and others in a joint effort to clean up Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
"It takes a brave individual to commit publicly to making the Inner Harbor clean enough for swimming and fishing," said Will Baker, President of CBF. "But Mike also has a winning strategy: get businesses, government, and citizens to work together with a clear purpose and deadline. That's the same cooperation, and point-of-the-spear determination we need to implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint."
CBF's Conservationist of the Year Award is given to an individual or organization in Virginia, Maryland, or Pennsylvania for extraordinary contributions to efforts to save the Bay. Past recipients include Gerald P. McCarthy, Charles McC. Mathias, and William D. Ruckelshaus.
Mr. Baker announced the award at CBF's "D.C. on the Half Shell" event at Union Market today.
Mr. Hankin is Chairman of the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, which has brought together the environmental and business communities with the goal of a fishable and swimmable Inner Harbor by 2020. He is also President of the Land Preservation Trust, and a Trustee of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation.
Under Mr. Hankin's leadership, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore has used innovative solutions to improve the health of Baltimore's waterways and engage citizens. In 2014, the organization introduced the Inner Harbor Water Wheel, a solar-powered machine that collects trash and debris from the harbor. To date, the Water Wheel has collected 354 tons of waste, reducing the litter flowing into the Inner Harbor—and the Chesapeake Bay—while raising awareness about the problems facing Baltimore's waterways. A viral video of the Water Wheel has been seen by more than 1.4 million people.
Mr. Hankin is a vocal proponent of clean water. He has personally committed to swimming across the restored Inner Harbor in 2020, and has publically urged regional leaders to move more quickly to reduce pollution entering the Bay and its tributaries. "It's well past time to move in earnest toward a healthier city, cleaner harbor, and bay," he said in a 2015 op-ed in the Baltimore Sun.
Along with his work with the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, Mr. Hankin serves in leadership roles for a variety of non-profit organizations, including Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Land Preservation Trust, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, and the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.
Mr. Hankin, his wife, Ann, and their three children, Emily, Lacey, and Connor, live on a farm in northern Baltimore County.