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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

Winner of the 2021 Charles E. Bennett Award Announced!


The 2021 award will be presented to Dr. Lucinda B. Sonnenberg, Ph.D. at the JEPB Awards Luncheon on November 17, 2021.

Currently serving as the Director of the Millar Wilson Lab at JU, Dr. Sonnenberg has shared her scientific opinion on a wide variety of environmental issues involving Jacksonville and the St. Johns River.  She has been active in the community, serving on the Environmental Protection Board, including being Chair. She has been active on sustainability issues at Jacksonville University. She has maintained an active research program funded in large part by grants and contracts. She has served as a mentor to multiple graduate students, teaching them appropriate analytical techniques.
Dr. Sonnenberg is being recognized for her environmental advocacy, education, research, passion and commitment to the environmental issues facing the State of Florida, Jacksonville and the St. Johns River.