KENNETT— Longtime Brandywine and Red Clay Valleys Associations Director Bob Struble received accolades and a standing ovation from guests at the Mendenhall Inn Grand Ballroom Thursday on the occasion of his retirement after 43 years with the organization.

Struble, 75, currently serves as the Watershed Conservation Director of the two merged organizations that became Brandywine Red Clay Alliance in 2015.

During a series of tributes to Struble throughout the evening, he was described as driven, tireless and hard working to improve the quality of the streams in the Brandywine and Red Clay watersheds. Scientific and environmental studies have shown that he has been quite successful, transforming many waterways from “red” to “blue,” adjectives standing for their condition before and after upgrades in beneficial organisms and purity.

Through the years, Struble has been especially active in rebuilding stream banks to prevent the build up of sediment and creating environments in the rural areas that keep waste products out from livestock and fertilizers.

He has also served on many boards and commissions and has been part of educational programs connected with clean water.

Alliance Executive Director Jim Jordan said of Struble, “His dedication is truly unwavering.”

As recognition for his efforts and outcomes of his work, he was given the Clayton M. Hoff Award, named for the first executive director of the BVA. That has been given only six time since its inception in 1987 and recognizes long term contributions to the conservation of the valleys’ resources.

Struble later said Hoff was like a grandfather to him and one of his heroes,

Jordan also announced the establishment of the Robert G. Struble Jr. Watershed Conservation Perpetual Fund. Already $50,000 has been gifted by an anonymous donor.

Additionally, at the dinner, which doubles as the annual meeting, West Chester Friends School Kindergarten Teacher Michelle Lozowski was named Teacher of the Year.

Dawn Coughlan of the BRCA staff was named the Educator of the Year.

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