Eric Martin

This city engineer with Chesapeake, Va.'s public works department created a streamlined development review process that improves efficiency and customer service. Nationally recognized, Operation Streamline is now a model for other cities. Martin's work helped Chesapeake become one of the top 10 most technology-advanced cities in America, as named by the Center for Digital Government.

Kari Mohr

While working at a transfer station for Marion County (Ore.) Department of Public Works–Environmental Services, Mohr saw many old bikes thrown away. She brokered a deal with her department, local garbage hauler Allied Waste, and the local Kiwanis club to implement a bicycle reuse drop-off program, which led to 427 bicycles being refurbished and given to low-income families. The program was halted when Kiwanis became overwhelmed by the amount of bikes to refurbish, so the department is on the hunt for another bike repair partner.

Kevin Morley

This American Water Works Association regulatory analyst's post-Katrina and -Rita efforts are helping drinking water and wastewater utilities create mutual-aid agreements—through Water and Waste-water Agency Response Networks (WARNs)—that cross state lines. His work earned kudos from the Infrastructure Security Partnership, which was established after Sept.11 to ensure the nation's infrastructure continues to function during a national emergency.

Barbara Mulkey

Mulkey is a champion of mentoring. The civil and structural engineer, and owner of her own consulting firm, shares her expertise with the proprietors of other female- and minority-owned firms. This fall, she became the first “mentoring practitioner-in-residence” to students in the civil, construction, and environmental department within North Carolina State University's College of Engineering.

Ron Owens

Owens, commissioner of the Cleveland Waste Collection and Disposal division, put together a solid waste program—partnering with neighboring communities—that has made collection more efficient and profitable for the city. Automated collection also cut down the number of workers comp claims, saving more money. Plus, participation in the recycling program has increased.

Port of Portland, Ore.

This port installed the nation's largest span of porous pavement with infiltration. Rain that falls on its 35-acre auto-storage facility flows through a sandy subgrade directly into groundwater supplies, a design that saved at least $250,000 by eliminating entirely the need to build a stormwater-management system.

Keith Reester

Public works director for Loveland, Colo., Reester has been proactive in finding ways to bridge the imminent knowledge gap and shortage of qualified personnel caused by retiring baby boomers. He's conducting extensive parallel surveys in both the United States and Australia on how to identify, hire, and develop talent, thus preventing his and other public works departments from losing organizational intelligence when employees retire.

Jennifer Rosales

Rosales is the author of—we are not making this up—the Road Diet Handbook. The publication includes everything you'd want to know about converting a four-lane undivided road into a two-lane road that includes both left-turn and bike lanes, on-street parking, sidewalks, and other ways to help create livable streets.

Paul Michael Schultz

Schultz is chief of the construction management division for Baltimore Public Works–Bureau of Water & Wastewater. Last year, he oversaw $127 million in improvement projects, from a $30 million dam rehab project to $600,000 reservoir repair.

Susan Seacrest

In October, two decades after starting a grassroots campaign to cut nitrate levels in Nebraska's groundwater, this former homemaker received $250,000 for her work from the the Heinz Family Foundation (overseen by Teresa Heinz, ketchup heiress and wife of former U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry). She promptly invested the money back into her organization, the Groundwater Foundation, which has spread to 34 other states, in the form of a new youth-leadership program: “Hydro Heroes.”