Chris Shutes, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, was a recipient of the 2023 Mark Dubois Award at the California River Awards held on April 21, 2023 at the City Club in San Francisco. Friends of the River holds this annual event to honor an extraordinary person or group of persons whose contributions to restoring our rivers recall the courage, spirit, and impact of Mark Dubois, legendary activist and Director Emeritus of Friends of the River.
In bestowing this award, Friends of the River recognized Chris as an outstanding leader in hydroelectric dam relicensing and in California water rights proceedings. Chris is one of the most experienced and effective advocates in the complex realm of hydropower relicensings. He has worked on numerous federal dam relicensings in California, which can take over a decade to complete. Chris was recognized for his deep knowledge of the regulatory and legal requirements as well as for his technical understanding of hydrologic and biological frameworks. Through his work on water rights at the California State Water Board, Chris has successfully kept more water in our rivers for the fish and wildlife we love. Chris’ acceptance remarks can be found here.
Friends of the River also recognized the leadership and accomplishments of Bill Jennings, CSPA’s former executive director who passed away last December. Bill was legendary activist on behalf of clean water and fish. He fought to uphold the Clean Water Act and was groundbreaking in its use to fight pollution and protect rivers and the Bay-Delta estuary.
All of us at CSPA congratulate Chris Shutes as well as the other recipients of the 2023 Mark DuBois Award. Those recipients were long-time river and wilderness advocate Steve Evans and (in Memoriam) founder Jim Eaton of the California Wilderness Coalition (“CalWild”), staff attorney Bob Wright of Sierra Club California, and (in Memoriam) Jonas Minton, who had a long career as a water policy expert and environmentalist, most notably with the Planning and Conservation League.