Marine ecologist and director of the Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC) at the Gloucester Marine Station, Molly Lutcavage of the environmental conservation department this month was named the first recipient of the Sarah Fraser Robbins Environmental Award by Maritime Gloucester for her “significant contributions to the study or protection of the seashore populations and the general ecology of Cape Ann and other northern New England waters.”
Maritime Gloucester created the award to mark publication of a new edition of “The Sea Is All About Us: A Guidebook to the Marine Environments of Northern New England Waters,” which was unveiled at a ceremony on June 21 at the museum and aquarium. Originally published in 1973, the Cape Ann guide was written and researched by Sarah Fraser Robbins and Clarice Yentsch.
LPRC manager Emily Chandler accepted the award for Lutcavage, who is in Hawaii deploying satellite tags on yellowfin tuna with Kauai fishermen. Chandler read a statement from Lutcavage at the ceremony: “Sarah Fraser Robbins, together with her collaborator, Dr. Clarice Yentsch, led many enthusiasts of Cape Ann’s shores and marine life down the path of exploration, allowing us to find the beauty, joy and awe that the ocean and fish provide. Their good work and seminal publication ‘The Sea is All About Us,’ affirmed that young women, and men, could follow their passion for marine science and participate anew in the sense of discovery and knowledge those pursuits bring over a lifetime.”
At the ceremony, Yentsch praised Lutcavage for her world-class large pelagics research and her efforts, through cooperative programs with commercial fishermen, to help Gloucester sustain its history and build its future as a legendary fishing port. “She has worked very hard to keep this community a thriving fishing center,” Yentsch said.
Tom Balf, Maritime Gloucester’s executive director noted that Lutcavage was honored for her work to protect species including leatherback sea turtles and bluefin tuna, for mentoring graduate students, for commitment to cooperative research with local fishermen on her tuna-tracking program and her strong commitment to a thriving fishing, research and maritime economy on Cape Ann.
“The Sea is All About Us” was first published in 1973. It is considered a classic work for anyone, from trained scientists or curious amateurs, interested in the marine populations of northern New England and especially Cape Ann.