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2001 National Wetland Award Winners Announced

March 2001

Eight outstanding wetlands educators, activists, scientists and conservationists were selected as recipients of the 2001 National Wetlands Awards for their exemplary contributions to the conservation and restoration of the nation’s wetlands. The award winners will be honored at a Capitol Hill ceremony on June 28, 2001, held in conjunction with the first National Watershed Forum coordinated by the Meridian Institute and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The National Wetlands Awards program honors exceptional individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary effort, innovation, and excellence in wetland conservation through programs or projects at the regional, state, or local level. Program co-sponsors — the Environmental Law Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Natural Resources Conservation Service — believe that rewarding these efforts helps ensure that future generations will have quality wetlands, biological diversity, and clean water.

Wetlands play a critical role in protecting wildlife habitats, drinking water supplies, and flood-prone areas,” said Mike Dombeck, Chief of the U.S.D.A. Forest Service. “Private and public partnerships are instrumental to the long term protection of our valuable wetland ecosystems.”

“Wetlands conservation is a key element in any approach to maintaining the ecosystems we all rely on,” said Acting Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service Marshall Jones. “When wetlands disappear, essential habitats for hundreds of species of wildlife and plants also disappear. For people, wetland losses mean declines in water quality and increased flood risk.”

Praising the efforts of farmers and ranchers who have voluntarily enrolled more than one million acres of wetlands under the Wetlands Reserve Program since 1992, Pearlie S. Reed, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said, “The voluntary restoration and enhancement of wetlands has benefited critical habitat for fish and wildlife, and provided immeasurable water quality benefits to society.”

“Wetlands are [also] an important element of healthy coastal ecosystems, and are an essential habitat for the majority of our nation’s recreational and commercial fish, shellfish, and other living marine resources,” said Bill Hogarth, Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries. “ELI’s National Wetland Awards provide us an opportunity to support and recognize outstanding public service. The winners provide ideas, inspiration, and encouragement to the entire wetland conservation community.”

John Meagher, Wetlands Division Director for the Environmental Protection Agency said, “It is only through the efforts of those honored by these awards, and others who follow their example, that our Nation’s wetlands protection goals can be achieved. The results of their efforts will be on display year after year through the cycle of wetland seasons, bringing wonder to generations of people drawn to nature’s special places.”

The winners were chosen by a high-level selection committee including Jim Adams (National Wildlife Federation), Stan Austin (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), Linda Beyt (Edgar Martin Middle School of Lafayette, Louisiana), Derb Carter (Southern Environmental Law Center), Julie Clark (American Farmland Trust), Gary Donovan (Champion International Corp.), Abby Friedman (National Association of Counties), Leah Graff Miller (Izaak Walton League of America), Bill Haglan (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Tim Hayes (Cinergy Corp.), Eric Hutchins (National Marine Fisheries Service), Mike Johnson (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Tom Kelsch (National Fish and Wildlife Foundation), Ted Morton (American Oceans Campaign), Janet Hall Schempf (Alaska Department of Fish and Game), Karen Solari (USDA Forest Service), Scott Sutherland (Ducks Unlimited, Inc.), Robert Eugene Turner (Louisiana State University), and Floyd Wood(Natural Resources Conservation Service).

For more information on the National Wetlands Awards winners or for informati