STONINGTON — The New England Science & Sailing Foundation CEO and founder, Michael "Spike" Lobdell, has been awarded the U.S. Sailing Martin A. Luray Award.

The award recognizes Lobdell's outstanding and unselfish contributions to further public access sailing. Known popularly as "The Marty," the award is the highest honor bestowed by U.S. Sailing, the sport's governing body, for community sailing programs.

According to U.S. Sailing, Lobdell "has been responsible for guiding NESS's vision, directing the execution of its strategy, organizing its governance, overseeing its staffing, managing the facility, directing community relations, and driving growth." They add, "Lobdell has shared his wealth of knowledge, his program resources, and his support with countless sailing centers and individuals across the country, and has grown community sailing immensely. These efforts, along with his direct work with NESS, reflect Lobdell's vision, leadership, and, importantly, belief in water as a platform for learning."

Lobdell founded NESS in 2002 and has been working to build the nonprofit's capacity to provide access to sailing and the water for all-especially underserved youth and persons with disabilities.

"It's a great honor to receive this recognition and the award is truly a reflection of the work of our dedicated NESS team who, day after day, represent NESS's four core values of Inclusiveness, Experiential Learning, Personal Growth, and Stewardship," says Lobdell.

— Sun staff

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