I would put her in the top five of people who have had a passion, from childhood, for the Bay and its restoration,”

said John Griffin, chief of staff for Gov. Martin O’Malley and a former secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, where he worked closely with Harrison.  "She’s very selfless. She drives herself and everyone else hard to solve the Bay’s problems. She has a passion, she has a commitment, she has a know-how."

Keith Campbell called Harrison "inimitable…innovative, responsive and persistent."

"….Harrison’s role in the funding choices, was a 'game-changer," 

said Dru Schmidt-Perkins, executive director of 1,000 Friends of Maryland, a smart growth organization. 
"Acquiring funding for land-use work is difficult — not every funder wants to talk about toilets and manure. But Harrison’s engagement and Campbell’s interest paid off in a big way in 2012. The legislature passed bills to increase the Bay Restoration Fund, set up stormwater utility fees in the state’s largest jurisdictions and reduce the number of major subdivisions built on septic systems. Campbell support helped pay for messaging, polling, media work and the coalition-building to bring together small environmental groups.

We were told we wouldn’t get any of these things. We got all of them, and that was because of the funding," she said.

“With Verna, you get not only a deep Rolodex, but a deep understanding of how all these different aspects play, where all the gaps are, what needs to change…"