Vote for Boston's 2017 Cox Conserves Hero

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Robert Cuddi

Robert Cuddi

Robert Cuddi joined the New England Aquarium’s field-based volunteer program - the Live Blue Service Corps - in 2015 and has since been among the organization’s most active stewardship volunteers. Cuddi has dedicated hundreds of hours toward conservation efforts in and around Boston. He’s been a longtime volunteer educating visitors at the Aquarium, has assisted cold-stunned sea turtles at the Aquarium’s Rescue and Rehab center, led volunteer cleanups at Revere Beach, worked with the Boston Water and Sewer Commission to label storm drains to protect them from dumping and much more. Cuddi’s projects improve the local environment and build connections between people and their natural surroundings. His nonprofit of choice is the New England Aquarium.

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Neil Santos

Neil Santos

Neil Santos has been the mainstay of a multiyear effort to control and eradicate variable milfoil in Lake Pawtuckaway. Two years ago, Santos was the first person to collect a sample of this invasive weed from the lake and has since recruited and trained a team of volunteer snorkelers and divers to assist him with his efforts. Santos is also the liaison to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), serving as a certified milfoil removal diver and assisting during the removal process. Through direct outreach, Santos informs and educates the lake community and state park visitors on how to identify invasive milfoil and minimize their ability to spread. His nonprofit of choice is Pawtuckaway Lake Improvement Association (PLIA).

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Caleb Blankenship

Caleb Blankenship

Caleb Blankenship is co-chair of Friends of the Blue Hills Trails Committee and helps the organization recruit, train and manage over 500 volunteers. His dedication to the Blue Hills trails is matched by his ability to work with everyone. Blankenship meets the concerns of the local conservation commissions so volunteers can maintain the trails while also ensuring that new trail volunteers are comfortable. He devotes hundreds of hours each year to scouting trails and identifying their needs. From clearing trails to removing invasive species to erosion mitigation, he is hands-on with multiple improvement projects. Blankenship also ensures that each project has adequate leaders to manage the events as well as completed paperwork, tools and donations. His nonprofit of choice is Friends of the Blue Hills.

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