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National Wetlands Awards for Naturalists

2006 National Wetlands Awards to be Presented on Capitol Hill

May 11, 2006 -- Six individuals from across the U.S. will be honored at the 2006 National Wetlands Awards on May 10th in Washington, DC. The Awards will be presented in an evening ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. in the United States Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room on Capitol Hill. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) will deliver the keynote address.

In a year when the importance of wetland protection has never been clearer, the 2006 Awardees exemplify the extraordinary commitment and innovation that is so instrumental to conserving wetlands in the Nation’s communities.

The 2006 National Wetlands Awardees are:

  • Francisco Abarca (Arizona)
  • Alan Ammann (New Hampshire)
  • Royal Gardner (Florida)
  • Chester McConnell (Alabama)
  • The Higel Family (Colorado)
  • Curtis Richardson (North Carolina)

Award winners were chosen by a diverse panel of wetland experts in March 2006.

The National Wetlands Awards Program celebrates individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication, innovation or excellence in wetlands conservation. Their work covers programs or projects on the regional, state and local levels. “These wetland champions are restoring and protecting one of America’s greatest natural assets through education, conservation, and dedication,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water. Collectively, the award winners have conserved thousands of wetland acres and have mobilized hundreds of other individuals to contribute to wetland conservation. On May 10th, they will take a well-deserved break from their efforts to receive their awards at the Capitol Hill ceremony.

Program co-sponsors—the Environmental Law Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Highway Administration, and NOAA Fisheries—believe that recognizing these individuals for their efforts will help ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy high quality wetlands, biological diversity, and clean water. “Effective conservation and stewardship of our natural resources is vital. The involvement of private individuals, such as these extraordinary people, is critical to assure that clean water and quality wetlands are available for future generations,” commented Dale N. Bosworth, Chief of the USDA Forest Service.

“Wetlands provide optimum migrating, wintering, and breeding habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds and other wetland dependent wildlife species, as well as essential habitat for many neotropical birds. What we do for conservation today is important. What we do for conservation tomorrow is vital,” said H. Dale Hall, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The awardees demonstrate how citizens and communities can—and do—make a difference.”

For more information on the National Wetlands Awards Program, the 2006 awardees, or the May 10th Awards presentation, please contact Jared Thompson at the Environmental Law Institute at (202) 939-3247. You can visit the NWA website at National Wetlands Awards Website.

ELI is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization based in Washington, DC. The Institute serves the environmental profession in business, government, the private bar, public interest organizations, academia, and the press.