Conservationist Thomas Dolan IV, Behind Tinicum’s John Heinz Refuge, Has Died


Thomas Dolan IV
Image via the family.
Thomas Dolan liked to fish and sail.

Thomas Dolan IV, a celebrated conservationist who helped create the 1,000-acre John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, died Dec. 28. He was 98, writes Gary Miles for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mr. Dolan, from Lafayette Hill, was born in Philadelphia, grew up in Devon, and attended Episcopal Academy and St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H.

He is a former executive director of the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association and former president of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Virginia-based Nature Conservancy.

He was treasurer and secretary of the Philadelphia Conservationist Board, now Natural Lands.

 Thomas Dolan was a biodiversity expert of streams, rivers, and lakes. In the 1940s, he identified a new category of mayfly that lives in and near water, later named Dolania Americana.

He pioneered early flood-plain zoning to protect watersheds in urban areas.

Mr. Dolan won the Philadelphia Zoo’s 2018 Conservation Impact Award, the 2013 Henry Meigs Environmental Leadership Award from the Schuylkill Center, and was named in 2000 as one of the Nature Conservancy’s 50 heroes of the environment.

“He loved science, and he loved the outdoors,” said Mr. Dolan’s son Thomas V. “So conservation was a good match for him.”

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about the life of Thomas Dolan IV.

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