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About the Award

The Charles E. Bennett Champion of the Environment Award was first established at the Florida Coastal School of Law and was given out by the Law School for three years. After the Law School reorganized, the Environmental Protection Board was approached to continue giving this award in honor of Jacksonville’s Original Environmental Champion.

The Charles E. Bennett Champion of the Environment Award seeks to highlight and acknowledge an individual who has exhibited, over a long-term, professionalism, diligence and an unwavering commitment as a Champion of the Environment in protecting or preserving the natural resources of Duval County.

Past Winners include:

  • Congressman Charles Bennett
  • Walt Bussells - JEA
  • Neil Armingeon - St Johns Riverkeeper
  • Linda Bremer - Sierra Club
  • Dr. Todd Stack - EPB
  • Robert Schuster –EPB
  • Mark Middlebrook - Preservation Project
  • Mayor John Delaney
  • State Senator John Thrasher
  • Barbara Broward - EPB
  • Richard Maguire
  • Warren Anderson
  • Barbara Goodman
  • William "Bill" Brinton
  • John Crescimbeni
  • Tracey Arpen
  • Dr. Lucinda B. Sonnenberg, Ph.D

Winner of the 2022 Charles E. Bennett Award Announced!


The 2022 award will be presented to Lisa Rinaman at the JEPB Awards Luncheon on November 16, 2022.

As soon as Lisa Rinaman arrived in Jacksonville, she fell in love with the St. Johns River and the city of Jacksonville and began immersing herself in the community as a volunteer and advocate for the arts. Her commitment to public service led to important roles in our City’s government as The Better Jacksonville Plan Director of Communications for Mayor John Delaney and as Policy Director for Mayor John Peyton.

For the last ten years, Lisa Rinaman has provided a strong and steady voice for the protection and restoration of our St. Johns River in her role as the St. Johns Riverkeeper. She has established herself as one of the most important and effective environmental leaders in Jacksonville and the State of Florida.

Lisa is being recognized for her longtime commitment to advocacy, education and research around environmental issuses in Duval County, especially the St. Johns River.