NOAA NAMES ENVIRONMENTAL
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has named six National Ocean Service volunteers
as Environmental Heroes for 2001. This is the sixth consecutive
year in which the Commerce Department
agency has recognized local citizens throughout the United States
who have contributed to the protection and preservation of the
nation's coastal and marine environment.
"On behalf of the 12,500 men and women
working for the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, I am pleased to present these individuals
Hero Awards," said Scott
Gudes, acting administrator for NOAA. "This award recognizes
their dedicated efforts and outstanding accomplishments to benefit
the environment and make our nation a better place for all Americans."
Each year NOAA invites its line offices
to submit nominations for Environmental Hero Awards. This year
there are a total of 27 honorees. Gudes sent each of the environmental
heroes a personal letter of congratulations, and some are being
honored in ceremonies centered around Earth Day, April 23.
- Deborah Pardike is an influential local
citizen from Alpena, Mich., involved in the designation of Thunder Bay
National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, the latest
addition to the 13-site
National Marine Sanctuary system. She has volunteered countless
hours, providing input on community issues and concerns to NOAA
and the state of Michigan
during the sanctuary designation process.
- Robert Michelson, a professional photographer
and videographer has been a staunch advocate and supporter of
Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts.
He has donated significant amounts of time and talent, including
wildlife and underwater photography and video, to the sanctuary.
- Bob Breen has worked closely with California's
Gulf of the Farallones National
Marine Sanctuary. He has been an active volunteer during
oil spills, and he teaches a special course at a local high school
for children interested in marine biology and the ocean.
- Richie Moretti is the founder of the Turtle
Hospital in Marathon, Fla., which opened in 1986. He has recruited
many volunteers to assist with sea turtle surgery, care and feeding,
and public outreach to ensure the continued health of these threatened
species within the Florida
Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
- Theodore H. Below won the Environmental
Hero Award for his work as an avid bird watcher. Below has studied
the birds in the mangrove islands on the Rookery
Bay National Estuarine Reserve in Florida
for more than 25 years. Below has spent much of his life trying
to understand habitats, species and natural phenomenon.
- Francis "Paul" Spadaro, president
of the Magothy River Association, has provided years of outstanding
leadership to this organization, which is devoted to the protection
and enhancement of marine life in the Magothy River in Maryland.
Spadaro has formed a strong volunteer network to help restore
oysters to Chesapeake Bay. His dedication and leadership are
making a real difference.
For more information on NOAA, visit http://www.noaa.gov