Press Room

NYS Senator Thomas F. O’Mara Honored with Audubon New York’s William Hoyt Environmental Excellence Award

Recognized for his outstanding work on behalf of environmental protection and natural resource conservation

Executive Director of Audubon NY, Ana Paula Tavares; NYS Senator Thomas F. O'Mara; Chair of Audubon Council of NYS, Marcy Boyle

Troy, NY - Audubon leaders from across New York will meet in Glens Falls, NY, to present the annual William B. Hoyt Environmental Excellence Award to Senator Thomas F. O’Mara for his dedication to protecting New York’s environment. The award is named in honor of former Assemblyman Hoyt, a committed environmental advocate who passed away in 1992, and is being presented on April 28th as part of the spring meeting of the Audubon Council of New York State. 

“As Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation, Senator O’Mara has played a central role in helping secure the enactment of an impressive string of landmark environmental conservation and protection actions over the last three years. We are proud to present him with the 2018 William Hoyt Environmental Excellence Award,” said Ana Paula Tavares, Executive Director of Audubon New York. “These actions, including a fully funded Environmental Protection Fund and the establishment of the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, will mark an enduring and impressive era of environmental achievement for New York. We are grateful for Senator O’Mara’s commitment to creating a greener future for birds and people.”

The Hoyt Award is presented annually to federal or state officials in recognition of work above and beyond the normal call of duty to advance critical solutions to the most pressing environmental issues. Throughout his time in office, Senator O’Mara has been a champion for environmental conservation in New York. Working in partnership with Governor Andrew Cuomo and his legislative counterparts, he has ensured that New York maintains a strong focus on clean air and water, open space preservation, and wildlife habitat. These efforts have included the nation’s first law to protect school drinking water systems from lead contamination, significant investments in local parks, trails and waterfronts, farmland conservation and agricultural sustainability, and ambitious commitments to renewable energy. Senator O’Mara has been a leading voice in addressing New York’s most pressing environmental conservation issues and a staunch advocate for Audubon’s mission.  

Senator O’Mara said, “I greatly appreciate this award and recognition. The past several years in New York State government have represented an era of meaningful environmental achievement, and I have been grateful for the opportunity to help move it forward. Most importantly, I have valued the work of Audubon New York and the Audubon Council, which has steadfastly highlighted short- and long-term concerns, unmet challenges, and the programs and policies that work best. The Audubon legacy is a great national legacy of conservation, protection and stewardship, and I am honored to be recognized alongside it.”

Past award recipients include then Assemblyman Maurice Hinchey (1990), Assemblyman William Hoyt (1991), Assemblyman Pete Grannis (1992), Senator Owen Johnson (1993), Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (1995), Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (1996), Assemblyman Steven Englebright (1997), Senator Carl Marcellino (1998), DEC Commissioner John Cahill (2000), Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (2001), Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (2002), Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli (2003), Governor George E. Pataki (2004), OPRHP Commissioner Bernadette Castro (2005), Congressman Maurice Hinchey (2007), Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano (2008), Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (2009), Assemblywoman Ginny Fields (2010), Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (2011), Senator Mark Grisanti (2012), Commissioners Rose Harvey and Lucy Waletzky (2013), Senator Betty Little (2014), Congressman Chris Gibson (2015), Assemblyman Steve Otis (2016), and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (2017).

About Audubon New York: As a prominent state program of the National Audubon Society, Audubon New York leads a statewide network of 50,000 members, seven sanctuaries and nature centers, and hundreds of volunteers while collaborating with 27 local Audubon Chapters and dozens of partners in the protection of birds and their habitats through science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation programs.  Learn more at and @audubonny

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