October 4, 2010
CBF Presents Conservationist of Year Award to Veteran Virginia Environmental Leader
(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has presented its 2010 Virginia Conservationist of the Year Award to Kay E. Slaughter, longtime senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) in Charlottesville, Va.
Slaughter recently retired from SELC after 24 years championing natural resource protection across Virginia and the Southeastern United States. She played an active role in many of the state's most important environmental issues, including the successful battle against the King William Reservoir. She also led the fight to change citizen standing laws in Virginia to allow ordinary citizens to challenge polluters and worked side by side with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) on a host of state and federal water issues and the fight to protect nontidal wetlands.
"On behalf of CBF, I extend our heartfelt appreciation for your dedication and leadership in Virginia's environmental movement to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay, our rivers and streams, and our precious natural resources," said Ann F. Jennings, CBF Virginia Executive Director, in presenting the award to Slaughter. "The award underscores the environmental community's view that you are one of Virginia's foremost environmental leaders."
The Conservationist of the Year Award, CBF's most prestigious honor, is given annually to an individual or organization in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania for extraordinary contributions to efforts to save the Bay. CBF presented the award to Slaughter at a recent retirement dinner in her honor.
"It has been an immense pleasure and privilege to have worked with Kay all these years," said Rick Middleton, Executive Director and Founder of SELC. "In fact, all Virginians are incredibly fortunate that Kay dedicated herself to protecting the Commonwealth's natural resources and special places. One of Kay's greatest contributions was her involvement with colleagues in other conservation organizations. We are especially pleased that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, with whom Kay worked on so many vital issues, has honored her as Conservationist of the Year."
Slaughter received her bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She joined SELC in 1986 and, as one of just three attorneys on staff at the newly formed organization, helped represent SELC throughout the South on a variety of matters, including billboard regulations to protect scenic views and pollution control for factory-style hog operations. She focused exclusively on her native Virginia for the past 20 years.
Slaughter has served on numerous local, state, and national public-interest commissions and boards, served on Charlottesville City Council for eight years, the last two as mayor. In 2004, she was named an outstanding Virginia Environmental Leader by a group of business, government, and nonprofit environmental professionals in an award presented by the Virginia Military Institute.
"I was thrilled and surprised to be so honored by CBF, where I interned after my second year in law school," Slaughter said of the Conservationist of the Year Award. "CBF has been a major partner with SELC in our work in Virginia. I look forward—as a citizen—to seeing more great things from CBF and SELC. The work continues."