The Hugh Whiteley Lifetime

Achievement Award

Honouring extraordinary contributions to water protection in the Canadian Great Lakes


🎉 ~ Join us for the ceremony & celebration on March 22nd, 2021 @ 7PM!  ~  🎉



About the Award

The annual Hugh Whiteley Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates the activism, advocacy, and dedication of remarkable individuals to protecting water in the Canadian Great Lakes Basin.  Each year, the Water Watchers honour one person whose passion & years of contributions to water protection transcend the ordinary, making a deep & lasting impact to water while inspiring the next generation of water protectors to consider what a lifetime of service to water could mean, create, and preserve. The first recipient was Dr. Hugh Whiteley himself, and now the award expands to honour more of the lifetime contributions of extraordinary water advocates in the Great Lakes Basin of Canada. To support and expand the legacy of award winners, a $1,000 donation will be made on their behalf to the water cause of their choice. 


Nominations Process

WWW accepts nominations for anyone with 20+ years of dedication to water in the Great Lakes area of Canada. That is our only qualifying criterion for nominations in order to allow all individuals to be considered, no matter their avenue to water protection.

To nominate an extraordinary water protector:

  • Email [email protected] with subject line “Nomination: Hugh Whiteley Award”
  • Include 200 - 500 words on the nominee, including what makes their lifetime contribution to water so extraordinary
  • Submission Deadline: Friday, February 26th 2021 [NOW CLOSED]

Once nominations close, semi-finalists will be selected and reviewed by the HWLAA panel of judges. The annual recipient will be announced on World Water Day - March 22nd - at special event held in their honour. This award includes a $1000 donation to the honoree's water cause of choice.


Meet Dr. Hugh Whiteley

Dr. Hugh Whiteley has and continues to dedicate his life to advocate for the waters of the Guelph area – the rivers, the river valleylands, the wetlands and of course the groundwater. Not only has Hugh been the Water Watchers' go-to hydrologist for the 14 years of WWW’s existence, but he has also been an inspiration to many through his tireless commitment to the protection of these natural features that are essential in maintaining a healthy ecology for all life that call these riparian areas home.

Hugh speaks often of the need to go beyond a modern, human-centric worldview embedded in maligned policies and poor political decisions that mistreat life-giving waters. He understands that our best thriving, and that of all ecology, will happen when we work within the intricacies and balance of natural cycles. And although meticulous and relentless in his advocacy, Hugh has always managed to do this work with a twinkle in his eye and lots of great stories.

For all this and more, we honour Hugh and use his continuing example to remember we are all called to this legacy of passion, dedication, and service for water.  


This award is looking for fiscal sponsors for future years. If you personally or your organization have been inspired by the lifetime of teaching and influence of Hugh, or if you'd like to honor the legacy of extraordinary water protectors, please contact the Water Watchers to become a sponsor.