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Award Guidelines


The Madison Boyd Award is named for former Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA) member Madison Boyd of Mollusk, VA.  Madison was a friend, waterman, and visionary leader who tirelessly worked on TOGA conservation and education efforts with the Boys and Girls Club at Camp Kekoka in Kilmarnock on the Northern Neck of VA until his death in 2020.  He actively volunteered in support of his community, especially with young people.  Inaugurated in 2021, the award reflects TOGA’s mission and values.  It may be given to an individual or group whose achievements, contributions, or service result in educating the public about oysters, oyster gardening, and/or improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The non-monetary award is presented in the form of a letter, engraved plaque, or memento and is presented by the TOGA President at the Annual Meeting and publicized in local news releases.  The award is given once a year to an individual or group in recognition of significant achievements that support and promote the TOGA Mission.  



Any member of the public, or a group is eligible to be nominated.


The Nomination Process

An annual call for nominations will be issued to the TOGA community in the summer of each year from the President.

Any TOGA member or an external party may complete and submit a nomination package to the President of TOGA or its Awards Committee chair by November 15 of each year. 

Award Criteria

The award recognizes significant contributions to oyster aquaculture, biology, gardening, advocacy, education, youth development, or service; or towards improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, and its communities.



Preparation of the Submission Package 

The submission must include the following:

  1. Full name of candidate


  1. Home address of candidate


  1. Candidate’s place of employment, profession, or position.


  1. Telephone number and email of candidate


  1. Date of submission


  1. Name, email, and phone number of the person submitting the nomination


  1. A 250 word or less description summarizing the achievements or contributions of the candidate, giving specific examples of the nominee's accomplishments towards meeting the award criteria (above) and clearly describing the significance of the achievement and impact on oysters, the bay, or its communities.  The submission should not be a list; it should be a narrative.  Submitters are encouraged to work with colleagues to nominate an individual or group.


  1. Up to three letters of support may be submitted from individuals’ knowledgeable about the candidate’s accomplishments and related impacts.  Letters should augment the material contained in the other documentation and address the broader context of the candidate’s achievements.  The letters should indicate the writer’s basis for their knowledge of the candidate’s achievements. (optional)

  2. Nominations and awards should be kept confidential among members of the Board of Directors and those submitting materials until the Annual Meeting, except when extending an offer of award to the proposed recipient.


N0TE- Incomplete submissions will be returned to nominators and may be resubmitted for consideration within one week of return.


Recipient Selection, Notification and Acceptance

The Awards Committee will assess nomination packages and recommend to the Board no more than one individual or group recipient each year based on the information provided within each nomination package. 


TOGA will ensure that nominations and selections are appropriately diverse and reflective of the community which it serves.  Dimensions of diversity shall reflect a wide range of human qualities and characteristics and include ethnicity, race, gender, age, disability, orientation, and religion.


The Board of Directors will make the final decision on a recipient.  The President will extend an offer of award to the recipient.  Award will be confirmed after acceptance from the nominee.


Announcement and Presentation of Award

The recipient(s) of each award will be announced and honored at a presentation during the TOGA Annual Meeting held each winter. The winner(s) will receive an honorary inscribed plaque as well as a letter of award. 

Send to Carl Zulick (, 150 Fish Hawk Ln, Deltaville VA


For questions, contact Carl Zulick ( ) or Sue Borra (

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