Plastics pollution fighter Sarah-Jo Lobwein is Sutherland Shire's nominee for the NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year, who will be named tomorrow, June 5.
The marine scientist and conservation educator founded SO Shire (Sustainable Organisations of the Sutherland Shire), which works to protect the natural environment, waterways and beaches through education and supporting environmentally-sustainable businesses.
The Australia Day Council of NSW, with partner Return and Earn, conducts the awards program, which starts with councils inviting the community to nominate an Environmental Citizen of the Year for their area.
Ms Lobwein was awarded the honour in the shire in the lead-up to Australia Day 2021, and is a finalist for the NSW award, with the winner to be announced on June 5.
The winner receives a certificate and a one-off donation of $3000 to support their work.
There is also a Young Environmental Citizen of the Year award.
Chair of the Australia Day Council of NSW Andrew Parker said the awards program, which is in its third year, "recognises the incredible efforts being made by NSW citizens - young and old - who are creating a more sustainable environment that benefits all of us".
"While many regions across the state have experienced hardships over the past year due to the pandemic and natural disasters, there are countless inspiring community members making a positive impact in their local regions - from recycling and regeneration to protecting our flora, fauna and oceans," he said.
"The addition this year of the Young Environmental Citizen of the Year is to empower the next generation of environmentalists."
"I congratulate all the incredible individuals and organisations that have risen to the challenge to tackle environmental issues - every project large or small makes a positive impact for NSW."