Rothman was recognized along with others who have played a role in the preservation of the Northern New Jersey wetlands, including Cathe and Jay Morrow, Channel 10 News, and Steve Royka of Little Ferry, who won the Outstanding Volunteer Award.
"I am very humbled to receive this Friend of the Hackensack River award and thank the Hackensack Riverkeeper for this great honor," Rothman said. "My work to save these 8,400 acres and turn them into an environmental park would not be possible were it not for Captain Bill Sheehan and his team at the Hackensack Riverkeeper. Together, we are turning these precious wetlands from being written off as swampy wasteland and garbage dumps to a nationally and even internationally renowned environmental park that will improve the quality of life for the people of our region."
Rothman, a lifelong resident of Bergen County, has made the preservation of the 8,400 undeveloped acres of the Hackensack Meadowlands - less than half a mile from the Arena/Giants Stadium property - a top priority. He has been the leader of the effort to spare the presently undeveloped wetlands, landfills, and toxic sites from development with the intention of turning it into an environmental park with opportunities for eco-canoe trips, nature walks, bird watching, other appropriate recreational activities, and an environmental educational center for children.
Founded in 1997, Hackensack Riverkeeper is the leading environmental organization working on Hackensack River issues and is a founding member of the Hackensack Meadowlands Partnership. Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan also serves as the Chairperson of the Meadowlands Conservation Trust, the state-chartered entity given the power to acquire, hold and maintain environmentally sensitive lands within the Hackensack River watershed.
Past recipients of the "Friends of the Hackensack River" have included:
Richard Dwyer of Bayonne, Public Affairs Manager for Public Service Electric & Gas Company. Both Mr. Dwyer and PSE&G are longtime supporters of Hackensack Riverkeeper and its mission.
John R. Quinn of Little Ferry, artist and author of Fields of Sun and Grass - An Artist's Journal of the New Jersey Meadowlands. Chief Naturalist at the NJMC, Mr. Quinn is also a former Trustee of Hackensack Riverkeeper.
John Zuzeck of Waldwick, water quality enforcement official for the Northeast Bureau of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
Kerry Kirk Pflugh, the Raritan Bureau Chief of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Al Sullivan, journalist for the Secaucus Reporter.
Shop-Rite Supermarkets for their work on behalf of the recovery of the Hackensack River.