For Immediate Release: April 11, 2012
2012 National Wetlands Awards
(Washington, DC) — The Environmental Law Institute announced today the recipients of the prestigious National Wetland Awards—individual stewards from across the country who have been recognized for their exceptional and innovative contributions to wetlands conservation. “I congratulate the winners of the National Wetlands Awards for demonstrating how citizens and communities can—and do—make a difference,” stated ELI President John Cruden. “With our partners from six federal agencies, we look forward to an awards ceremony that showcases the remarkable contributions they have made to a healthy and productive environment.”
The 2012 National Wetlands Awards recipients will be honored at a ceremony on May 10, 2012 at the U.S. Botanic Garden starting at 6 pm. The public is invited to attend (click here to RSVP). U.S. Senator Tom Udall will be the keynote speaker.
This year’s recipients are:
Conservation & Restoration
Tim Swanson has worked tirelessly to bring divergent interests to the table in order to protect land threatened with development in southwest Montana. His work has helped to protect almost 70,000 acres of land, including over 11,000 acres of critical wetland habitat.
Education & Outreach
Education coordinator for the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Aquatic Education Center Gary Kreamer has developed numerous wetlands programs that have educated and inspired tens of thousands of students and teachers across Delaware and beyond.
Arizona landowner John Anthony Sedgwick has collaborated with federal, state, and local partners to restore wetlands on his property, developing the site into an environmental and historical educational destination for the public.
Indiana University professor Dr. Christopher Craft is a world-renowned wetlands scientist. His research has produced almost 90 highly cited peer-reviewed publications, and has made a significant contribution to our understanding of how wetlands function.
State, Tribal, and Local Program Development
St. Johns River Water Management District’s coastal wetland program manager Ron Brockmeyer has led efforts with federal, state, and local partners to rehabilitate more than 20,000 acres of severely impacted coastal wetlands in East Central Florida.
Wetland Community Leader
Grassroots activist Florence LaRiviere has worked countless hours to protect wetlands in the San Francisco Bay area. Her efforts helped create the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in 1972, and then expand that refuge by 20,000 acres in 1988. At the age of 88, she continues her work defending wetlands.
The National Wetlands Awards program is administered by the Environmental Law Institute and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Highway Administration, and USDA Forest Service.
“The recipients of the 2012 National Wetlands Awards demonstrate an exciting level of personal commitment to conservation which is both motivating and outstanding. This varied group of awardees is involved in wetlands conservation making a difference for people working the land, the students in the classroom, and the people of the community. These leaders recognize the importance of wetland habitats and the ecosystems they sustain,” said Dave White, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “NRCS is pleased to join the Environmental Law Institute in recognizing this year’s award recipients for their distinctive conservation of wetlands.”
Collectively, the impact of the 2012 National Wetlands Awards recipients is substantial—their expertise, experience, and examples have profoundly shaped the landscape of wetlands conservation. “We look forward to meeting this year’s award winners and honoring their extraordinary achievements in wetland conservation,” said Sam Rauch, Acting Assistant NOAA Administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “We are proud once again to support the Environmental Law Institute’s National Wetlands Awards, recognizing individuals for their contributions to society and the aquatic environment. Wetlands provide essential support for self-sustaining ecosystems, valuable fisheries and protected resources, water quality and resilient coastal communities.”
“The Forest Service is proud to partner with ELI in its National Wetlands Awards program.” said Tom Tidwell, Chief of the USDA Forest Service. “Wetlands provide an array of benefits to society and are integral to healthy, sustainable watersheds by protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats and mitigating floodwaters. We are excited to recognize this year’s awards recipients and appreciate their important contribution in this area.”
“Safeguarding America’s wetlands is an important part of our ongoing commitment to balancing the public’s transportation needs with environmental responsibility,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “The FHWA takes wetlands protection seriously, and we applaud this year’s award recipients for their success.”
“Wetlands provide tremendous services to society, in addition to their vital importance for functioning ecosystems. We are so proud to be a part of the celebration for those people who protect and restore our nation’s wetlands for the benefit of all Americans,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director Rowan Gould.
“It is especially exciting to reflect on the accomplishments of this year’s winners as 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner. “The extraordinary actions of National Wetlands Awards winners past and present provide continued inspiration in our efforts to protect and restore our nation’s wetlands. EPA commends the winners for their incredible work.”
For more information about the National Wetlands Awards, visit www.nationalwetlandsawards.org or e-mail email@example.com.
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