Nigel Waters, a fearless campaigner for the Port Stephens environment, has been nominated as one of 14 finalists in the NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year Award with the winner to be announced on June 5 to coincide with World Environment Day.
Mr Waters, a 69-year-old retiree from Nelson Bay and member of The Greens, has been a driving force for change in the Port Stephens area since arriving here in 1999.
He is an active member of a number of organisations including EcoNetwork, Mambo Wanda Wetlands Conservation Group, Climate Action Port Stephens and Tomaree Ratepayers & Residents Association, but has volunteered his services to countless other causes across the Port.
In January, during the Australia Day celebrations, Mr Waters was named the inaugural winner of the Port Stephens Environmental Citizen of the Year.
He was also a member and boat skipper for the Port Stephens Coastal Patrol for 19 years.
"I am very pleased to receive the nomination for the work I do for various community groups which I believe are vital to the health and vitality of the area," he said.
"I see it is the community's role to take up important environmental issues while ensuring the accountability and transparency of both local and state government departments."
Mr Waters said he hoped that once the coronavirus restrictions had been lifted that all governments do not go back to their pre-COVID ways.
"I would like to see a reset in the way we do things, with a priority given to the majority of people and the environment, not the vested financial interests of a few."
Mr Waters, who likes to keep healthy and active by walking, playing golf and tennis, spends an estimated 20 hours a week on his voluntary work.
EcoNework member Nigel Dique described Mr Waters as a warrior when it came to campaigning for the environment.
"In addition to the many organisations he represents, Nigel has also been active in fighting sand mining impacts on the environment, building heights in Nelson Bay, housing developments at Kings Hill, Fleet Street and over 55 retirement villages and he helped out in the Anna Bay 7-day makeover," Mr Dique said.
"He has the ability to hold governments to account and demand transparency due to his knowledge of legislation and government procedure at all levels."