NOAA 03-R433
Contact: Ben Sherman
NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has selected Morgan Angus, a middle school student from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and Tara Whittle a high school student from Anne Arundel County, Maryland, as NOAA Environmental Hero Award recipients. The award recognizes their volunteer efforts with NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland. The award was presented by Laurie McGilvray, chief of NOAA’s Estuarine Reserves Divisions, at a private ceremony onboard a Maryland state vessel, the evening of July 31.

The award honors NOAA volunteers for their “tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation's environment.” Angus and Whittle are active volunteers with the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, a component of the Chesapeake Bay-Md. Reserve. They have been extremely involved with educational programs, research projects and promotion of environmental issues.

Last fall, the students hosted a segment of Estuary Live, an interactive field trip over the Internet. The program was the feature event for National Estuaries Day and reached about one million viewers. During the live broadcast, Angus and Whittle shared their interested in the Patuxent River and demonstrated their involvement in radio-tracking research of the Eastern box turtle.

“NOAA and the nation are fortunate to have such dedicated people volunteer so much of their time,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “They set a perfect example for others to follow in their communities. America needs more environmental heroes like them.”

Established in 1995 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Earth Day, the NOAA Environmental Hero award is presented to individuals and organizations that volunteer their time and energy to help NOAA carry out its mission.

“On behalf of the 12,500 men and women working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I am pleased to present you with this 2003 Environmental Hero Award,” wrote Lautenbacher in a letter to the recipients. “Your dedicated efforts and outstanding accomplishments greatly benefit the environment and make our nation a better place for all Americans.

There are a total of 36 winners — 35 individuals and one organization. Five awards are being presented posthumously.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit the Web site at: