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Washington, D.C. – Six citizens have been recognized nationally for their on-the-ground wetland conservation efforts and decades-long dedication to protecting these important natural resources. A diverse panel of wetland experts assembled at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) earlier this month to select the winners of the 2007 National Wetlands Awards.
This year’s award winners hail from all regions of the country and exemplify the extraordinary commitment and innovation that is so instrumental to conserving wetlands in the nation’s communities.
Benjamin H. Grumbles, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water, stated that the award winners were working to meet the national goal of increasing, not simply maintaining, the quantity and quality of our wetlands.
The 2007 awardees are: the Brockway family, an Iowa family that has enhanced and restored over 250 acres of wetlands on their land; Jeanne Christie, a national leader in the development of local, state and national wetland programs; Paul Keddy, a wetland ecologist and professor at Southeastern Louisiana University who has developed strategic plans for scientific wetland restoration; Jeff Nania, who as director of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association has led the restoration of thousands of acres of wetlands; Lynda Saul, Wetlands Program Manager at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality who established a the Montana Wetlands Council; and Alice Wellford, a wetlands advocate and community organizer based in Richmond, Virginia.
Collectively, the award winners have conserved thousands of wetland acres and have mobilized hundreds of other individuals to contribute to wetland conservation. In May, they will take a break from their efforts to receive their awards at a ceremony on Capitol Hill.
Program co-sponsors—the ELI, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Forest Service, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Federal Highway Administration, and the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service—hope that recognizing wetland leaders for their efforts will inspire others to follow their example. Given the national importance of wetlands, the federal agencies that sponsor the awards welcome the opportunity to recognize and encourage voluntary wetland conservation efforts.