At the 2020 Oyster Roast, St. Johns RIVERKEEPER announced the creation of the Dr. A. Quinton White, Jr. For the River Award and the first recipient of this special recognition. 

“After recently celebrating our 20th Anniversary, we decided it was time to honor and recognize those truly special people who have dedicated their lives to the protection and restoration of the St. Johns,” explains Lisa Rinaman, the St. Johns Riverkeeper. “Well, needless to say, it didn’t take us long to decide who the award should be named after and who should receive the first one.”

The staff and Board of St. Johns RIVERKEEPER quickly concluded that the first recipient of the Dr. A. Quinton White, Jr. For the River Award should be Dr. White himself.  

The Dr. A. Quinton White, Jr. For the River Award was created to recognize select individuals who have made substantial contributions over their lifetime to the St. Johns River. Their actions have led to a more informed, educated, and engaged constituency for the River and have advanced efforts towards a clean and healthy St. Johns. These individuals are driven by a commitment, respect, and passion for the St. Johns.  

Dr. White is the Executive Director of the Marine Science Research Institute (MSRI) at Jacksonville University (JU) and Professor of Biology and Marine Science at JU. He is highly regarded as an educator, researcher, leader, and one of the foremost experts on the St. Johns. Because of his leadership and vision, JU was able to establish the MSRI in 2010, a premier biological and environmental research and education facility located on the banks of the St. Johns and home to St. Johns RIVERKEEPER.   Dr. White also helped to establish the annual Lower St. Johns River Basin State of the River Report that has informed policymakers and the public about the health status of the river for the last thirteen years.  

Since his arrival at JU in 1976, Dr. White has been a champion for the St. Johns River and a highly respected leader in the community, serving in numerous leadership roles and on numerous nonprofit Boards.   As a Founding Board Member of St. Johns RIVERKEEPER, he forged a critical partnership with JU that continues to support and sustain our advocacy work and enhance our organization’s credibility.  Dr. White has been an important advisor and mentor to our three Riverkeepers and other staff through the years, as well.  

“If anyone has ever been deserving of the first Dr. A. Quinton White, Jr. For the River Award, it is Dr. White himself,” proclaims Jimmy Orth Executive Director of St. Johns RIVERKEEPER. “Quint has dedicated his life to the St. Johns and has truly made a profound impact on this community. Our River is much better off today because of him and, certainly, so is the St. Johns Riverkeeper organization.”