Emma Brown Awarded First Edward W. Cooch, Jr. Environmental Scholarship

On June 5, 2012, members of the Christina Conservancy Board, members of the Christina River Cleanup Committee, and others met to celebrate the awarding of the first Edward W. Cooch, Jr. Environmental Scholarship to Emma Brown, of Claymont, Delaware.  She was selected for her outstanding interest and accomplishments in community service for the environment and for her plans to pursue post-secondary education in the field of environmental sciences. Cooch Family members in attendance were:  the Hon. Richard Cooch, son of the late Edward W. Cooch, Jr., Barbara Cooch, wife of Richard Cooch, Nancy Cooch, widow of the late Edward W. Cooch, Jr.

The Edward W. (Ned) Cooch, Jr. Environmental Scholarship fund was established in 2011 to honor the late Mr. Cooch who was an avid environmentalist with a deep passion for the natural lands and water resources of Delaware and was very involved in the Delaware community as a whole.  Ned’s environmental fervor led him to be one of the founders of the Christina Conservancy and a driving force and inspiration behind the creation of the Christina River Watershed Cleanup in 1992 which has removed thousands of tons of trash and debris from the watershed in the ensuing years.  The scholarship is sponsored by the Christina Conservancy and its affiliate, the Christina River Watershed Cleanup Committee.

The Hon. Richard Cooch, Delaware Superior Court Judge

Lynn Williams, chairman of the Scholarship Committee said, “The scholarship committee selected Emma Brown for the $1,000 scholarship because she demonstrates the ideals that Ned Cooch carried out in his daily life.  Through the years, Emma has been involved in environmental activities individually, as an active Girl Scout, and a FFA member.  Among her numerous activities were coastal cleanups, tree planting, wildlife habitat enhancement, community garden assistance, water quality testing, water conservation projects, environmental education activities involving young people, and so much more.”

Academically, Emma Brown achieved a 3.8 grade point average during her years at Concord High School where she developed and honed her skills in environmental awareness, conservation, and horticultural presentation, education and advancement. .  She plans to attend the University of Delaware and seek a degree in Landscape Horticulture and Design.

Emma Brown expressed her appreciation for the award and said, “I believe knowledge has the greatest value when applied with true passion.  My passions – the environment, botany, ecology – are the same as those within the fine organization that is the Christina Conservancy.  I am honored to have received the Edward W. Cooch, Jr. Environmental Scholarship.”

The meeting was held at the historical Cooch family home at Cooch’s Bridge on Old Baltimore Pike near Newark.  Richard Cooch gave an overview of the rich history of the family home and area to the gathering.  According to Richard, Ned Cooch spent many hours at this house regaling guests with stories of the American Revolution during which General Cornwallis occupied the family home much to the dismay of the Cooch Family.  Today, one will see a large painting of Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, VA proudly on display in the home as a bit of retribution for the occupation.  In 2002, two hundred acres of land surrounding the Cooch family home were preserved by Ned Cooch and his family in keeping with his environmental zeal.  Included in the preservation are the bridge and the grist mill (Dayett Mills).


Scholarship eligibility and selection criteria follow.



1.      Must be applying  to a properly accredited junior college, college, or university for the fall semester 2012;

2.      Must be a Delaware resident;

3.      Must be a senior in a Delaware high school or returning veteran of the U.S. armed services;

4.      Must have a grade point average of 3.0 or greater;

5.      Must major in an environmental  field of study;

6.      Must demonstrate an interest in the environment (example: participate in cleanups, engage in school Eco-club projects, elect to take environmental classes).


Selection Criteria

The recipient will have a strong interest in the natural environment and water resources and will have

demonstrated this interest through engagement in the community in these areas.  The recipient will clearly

communicate academic and career goals as it relates to the natural environment and water resources.  The

scholarship will be awarded to a student with a grade point average of 3.0 or greater.



The Christina Conservancy was established in 1982 to improve the water quality and to protect the river’s natural and historic resources.  The Christina Conservancy is an all volunteer membership organization (501(c)3 operated by a board of directors of local citizens.