Steve Ewing, dock builder, conservationist and Edgartown poet laureate is this year’s recipient of the Walter Cronkite award from Sail Martha’s Vineyard. The award honors someone who lives up to Mr. Cronkite’s legacy of conservation and maritime tradition.

Speaking to the Gazette by phone Friday, Mr. Ewing said receiving the award the previous evening at Sail MV’s annual Seafood Buffet and Auction fund raising gala was an honor and on a fun night.

“Walter and I were friends,” Mr. Ewing said. “He would have gotten a kick out of that. I have his life jacket with his name on it. I put that on when I got the award.”

At the dinner Thursday he read one of his poems, which he said seemed to fit the occasion. It is about the boat Vanity, moored among many other boats just behind the event at Packer Wharf in Vineyard Haven. Now a classic sailing vessel, Mr. Ewing has known the boat in various roles for various owners throughout his life.

You look so sharp

so new and light

It’s good to see you

got up your summer rig

As if the wind

was made

to push you

right along

Mr. Ewing accepted the Cronkite Award with characteristic humor and humility.

“I’m just one person in the whole thing,” he said. “I really wanted to honor Cronkite, too.” Mr. Ewing cited Mr. Cronkite’s support in founding the Edgartown Harbor Association, which he credited with taking the lead in pollution control in the harbor many years ago.

Mr. Ewing also offered thanks to five families who have contributed to Vineyard Haven Harbor’s legacy as a working harbor.

He named the Packers, owner of the Packer Companies; the Hales, owners of the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard; the DeSorceys, waterfront business owners along the harbor; the Douglas family, owners of the Black Dog companies and the schooners Shenandoah and Alabama; as well as Ernie Boch Jr., who recently announced plans to build a public park on the waterfront.