IBF established its Citizens Advocacy Program in 2019 as a memorial to John Austin and Bill Moyer, founding members who fought tirelessly for better water quality in the Inland Bays. In October 2020, the Board voted to honor Robert Chin, who passed away this fall, as part of the program. The Austin Moyer Chin Citizens Advocacy Program continues the legacy of these effective advocates as we work to protect the Inland Bays and restore them to their original “Fishable and Swimmable” condition.
John Austin was a great advocate for the environment throughout his professional life at the Environmental Protection Agency and after his retirement for the Delaware Inland Bays. His scientific expertise greatly enhanced efforts to fight for better water quality. He provided invaluable support to Sussex County citizens at many public forums and hearings. John was a founding member of IBF and its Science Coordinator for many years.
Bill Moyer was a resolute steward of the environment, retiring in 2004 as Manager of the Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section for the State of Delaware. He continued his passion for protecting the environment through consulting and serving as IBF president.
Robert Chin had an accomplished career in Washington, DC, as an officer in the CIA and an attorney, prior to retiring to Sussex County where he volunteered his time generously. Bob was a founding member of IBF, served as our Legislative Lead for many years fighting to restore neglected and polluted waters, and was instrumental in establishing the Friends of Holts Landing State Park.
The Austin Moyer Chin Citizens Advocacy Program seeks to empower Sussex County citizens who are following their lead. Since citizen-led environmental groups often need legal resources to understand, monitor and challenge state and administrative functions and rulings, the Program is working with the Delaware Law School Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, directed by Professor Ken Kristl.
A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Advocacy in Delaware, produced by Professor Kristl, is the first project of this collaboration.