The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
has announced this year's recipients of the Walter B. Jones Memorial and NOAA Excellence Awards for Coastal and Ocean Resource Management. The awards honor excellence in unique coastal and ocean resource management programs
, as well as in public and private endeavors to conserve America's coasts.
Winners of these prestigious awards will be recognized on Oct. 21 in Washington, D.C.
The Walter B. Jones Memorial and NOAA Excellence Award winners demonstrate the positive impact public and private organizations and citizens can have on coastal and ocean problems. The winners were chosen from a pool of more than 60 qualified nominees by an independent panel of judges. The criteria for evaluation are based on innovative approaches in coastal zone management -- helping to maintain coasts and ocean resources and balance the needs of these resources with human use. The winners are:
Walter B. Jones Memorial Awards:
Coastal Steward of the Year:Dr. George F. Crozier, Executive Director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Dauphin Island, Ala.
Excellence in Local Government: Cameron Parish Police Jury, Cameron Parish, La.
Excellence in Coastal and Marine Graduate Study: Tracy Hart, Takoma Park, Md., for her studies at the University of Maryland, Problem-solving in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology program; Daniel Hudgens, Boston, Mass., for studies at the Graduate Department of Environmental Coastal and Ocean Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Boston; David H. Shull, Boston, Mass., for studies at the University of Massachusetts, Environmental, Coastal, and Ocean Sciences, Boston; Catherine M. Wannamaker, Raleigh, N.C., for studies at the North Carolina Sea Grant/North Carolina State University; David A. Hart, Madison, Wisc., for studies at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute and Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility; David Robinette, Fuquay-Varina, N.C., for studies at North Carolina State University, Chapel Hill; Jill Fegley, Orono, Maine, for studies at the University of Maine; Christopher Nietch, Columbia, S.C., for studies at the University of South Carolina.
NOAA Exellence Awards For Coastal And Ocean Resource Management:
Volunteer of the Year: Les Hodgson, Brownsville, Texas
Non-Governmental Organization of the Year: The Galveston Bay Foundation, Galveston, Texas
Excellence in Promoting Diversity in Coastal or Ocean Resource Management: Leonard Kapahulehua, Kihei, Hawaii.
Excellence in Business Leadership: Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce, Houma La.
Excellence in Innovative Coastal Management
: Three California state agencies that are partners in the state-federal interagency San Francisco Dredged Material Management Office (DMMO): The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board; and the California State Lands Commission
Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-N.C.) and Capt. Ted Lillestolen, NOAA Corps, NOAA's deputy assistant administrator for ocean services and coastal zone management, will preside over the awards ceremony. The memorial awards are named after Jones' father, the late Congressman Walter B. Jones.
In 1990 the elder Jones, as chairman of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, granted NOAA the authority under the reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) to honor people and organizations who dedicated countless hours and energy to preserving coastal and ocean resources.
The CZMA created the National Coastal Zone Management Program, a voluntary partnership of federal and state governments, to provide a balance between land and water uses in coastal zones and conservation of fragile coastal resources. The CZMA also created the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, a national system of estuarine reserves that represent coastal and estuarine habitats and provide long-term research and education to improve coastal management decision-making.