LINCOLN, MAâ€”Mass Audubon has bestowed one of its highest honors, the Audubon â€˜Aâ€™ Award, on Deborah Cramer, whose books on marine and coastal habitats and the creatures dependent upon them have established the Gloucester author as a recognized 21st-century voice for the environment.
The Audubon â€˜Aâ€™ Award salutes an individual, group, or organization that has furthered the cause of conservation and environmental protection or has broadened the public awareness of the nature of Massachusetts.
Cramerâ€™s work includes three books, Great Waters: An Atlantic Passage; Smithsonian Ocean: Our Water Our World; and, most recently, The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey. A dramatic narrative of the relationship between two vulnerable species, red knot shorebirds and horseshoe crabs, The Narrow Edge is a Rachel Carson Environmental Book Award winner and has been praised by critics, including Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert.
She was presented her award by Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton at the conservation organizationâ€™s headquarters in Lincoln June 3. Cramer said she was â€œincredibly honored, completely surprised, and totally delighted to receive this award.â€
The author recalled that her childrenâ€™s introductions to nature included summer camp programs at Mass Audubonâ€™s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield and coastal programs along the North Shore. â€œSo I have a particular connection to this organization that I love, which goes way back,â€ she said.
Cramer also lauded Mass Audubon, the stateâ€™s largest nature conservation nonprofit, for standing at the forefront of climate action.
â€œWith climate change one of the most pressing issues facing us today, Mass Audubon is promoting climate mitigation and adaption policies at the state level, dramatically reducing its own carbon emissions, including climate science in its education programs, and protecting ecologically important lands along our coastlines,â€ Cramer said.
â€œAnd its wildlife sanctuaries, encouraging so many people of all ages to get outside and connect with nature, demonstrate the importance of leading by example,â€ she added.
In presenting the award to Cramer, Clayton noted, â€œWhether witnessing the struggles of migrating shorebirds in the Southern Hemisphere or wading through a Cape Ann tidal creek in an era of rising sea levels, Deborah embodies the spirit of the Audubon â€˜Aâ€™ Award and is a worthy honoree.â€