With Sadness and Gratitude
We write with profound sadness to announce the passing of Ridgway Hall. Ridge was a titan in the field of environmental law, and a tireless defender of the Chesapeake Bay. Not only a renowned litigator, he was a policy expert who mapped out and replumbed both state and federal policy and legislation critical to Bay restoration. He was also a friend to a great many, not because of his achievements or accolades, but because of who he was.
Ridge didn’t just give of himself, he toiled at his craft, and constructed as many partnerships for good as possible. Ridge carried all these passions out in a particular manner–with kindness and enthusiasm for teamwork. He became fast friends with most he worked with. And no wonder, anytime you met with Ridge he greeted you as a good friend he hadn’t spoken to in too long a time. I can hear it now.
His dedication to restoring and protecting clean water was evident in everything he did, and was contagious. So many of us have built out ideas, and seen many of them come to fruition, with and through him. For staff, he was our mentor and patron. His well of generosity toward younger cohorts was endless. He provided the advice and knowledge gathered over nearly fifty years of experience and excellence, and shared it with patience and good humor. Ridge has built up a mountain of equity with us, without expecting a drop of recompense. For the Board, he was a decades-long friend and colleague.
Ridge helped his longtime friend Russ Stevenson co-found the Chesapeake Legal Alliance, serving as Vice Chair until this past summer. Ridge’s accomplishments and contributions to the environmental advocacy movement are so vast they would take pages to recount. Most of us can honestly say we wouldn’t have embarked upon many of our most important endeavors without him. When there were difficulties, both internal or external, he faithfully adhered to a presumption of good faith; Ridge was often our better angel. Even now, with this great loss, the mountains of good work, novel ideas, and networks for conservation remain. He will be greatly missed.
With sadness and gratitude,
Dave and the CLA Staff
Learn more about Ridge’s life and legacy by reading his recent interview with the Choose Clean Water Coalition here.