The 2013 National Wetlands Awards recipients were honored at a ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden. The 2013 recipients were:
Conservation & Restoration
Thomas Ries has played an instrumental role in wetland restoration in southwest Florida for over 25 years. Tom, executive vice president at Scheda Ecological Associates, has been involved in over 80 habitat restoration and stormwater retrofit projects. His work has won numerous environmental awards, and resulted in the restoration of more than 2,400 acres of wetlands.
Education & Outreach
Ohio landowners, brothers Steve and Jerry Panzner, have transformed their restored wetlands into a living laboratory that have been used by hundreds of elementary, undergraduate, and graduate students. In 2012, Steve and Jerry donated their land to the University of Akron to be used for wetlands education, research, and outreach.
Landowner Robert Zorb has worked with federal, state, and local partners to restore his land in Washington and Idaho. Since the late 1980s, over 150,000 plants and scrubs have been planted on Bob’s land, and many acres of upland and riparian wetlands have been improved. At the age of 83, Bob continues to plant trees on his land.
Pennsylvania State University Professor of Geography and Ecology Dr. Robert P. Brooks is a preeminent wetlands researcher. Rob’s work has resulted in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, numerous book chapters, and more than 140 presentations. Rob has also trained 42 graduate students, furthering his contribution to wetlands conservation.
State, Tribal, and Local Program Development
Doug Norris has been at the forefront of wetlands protection and conservation in Minnesota for over 20 years. As Wetlands Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Doug has been a tireless advocate for wetlands in Minnesota, championing their protection through regulation, monitoring, mapping, and restoration.
Wetland Community Leader
As the director of the Elkhorn Slough Foundation for 30 years, Mark Silberstein has worked tirelessly to protect, restore, and share the Elkhorn Slough. Under Mark’s guidance, the Foundation has brokered 48 land transactions, protecting nearly 4000 acres of land, and has restored more than 2000 acres of coastal and estuarine habitats.