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Prestigious award may go to local environmental group

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A local organization is in the running for what's billed as "the world's most prestigious environmental award."    

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is one of three finalists from around the world for the Thiess International Riverprize. BNR's Executive Director, Jill Jedlicka says, "it's really just a validation of our many years of work and impact here in Western New York and even across the Great Lakes."

But Jedlicka says, the judges are primarily looking at the nonprofit's work on the Buffalo River.    

"And how this river had really gone from a dead river to one now that's thriving, that's helping contribute  to a water-based economy. A river that has now become part of the life-blood of the community where it both supports business and economic development but also quality of life and recreation. And that's a tremendous story that can be repeated world wide," Jedlicka said.  

The key to Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's success, she says, is its ability to work with many diverse partners.

"From New York state and federal agencies, to local municipalities with the cities and the sewer authorities, to even individual nonprofit groups and individuals," Jedlicka said.  
 
The award includes a $200,000 cash prize, which Jedlicka says, would help support BNR's work. The winner will be announced September 13 at the International Riversymposium in New Delhi, India.