FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Crystal Straugn
News Releases 2003
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Kazo, director of the Wildlife Research Team, Inc (WRT), was recognized
with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Environmental Hero Award. The award recognizes Kazo for his community-based,
environmentally sound, hands-on approach to large restoration projects.
The award was presented by Daphne Macfarlan, habitat restoration specialist,
on June 7th during a ceremony for Kazo at the The Wildlife Research
Team 10 year anniversary at Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables,
Kazo focused on unclogging the natural baitfish corridors that weave throughout this 629-acre mangrove preserve. He implemented a “hands-on” method of restoration and to this day does not utilize any mechanical equipment. In 2001, the Wildlife Research Team (WRT) was awarded a FishAmerica grant through the NOAA Restoration Center’s Community-based Program to spark their efforts. What was once Kazo’s unique vision has now resulted in an improvement of water quality and clarity, increased tidal flushing, enhanced vegetation, an increase in the presence of fish and even the visit of a saltwater crocodile.
Due to the project’s success, involvement of community partners and continued need for assistance, an additional grant was awarded directly from the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program to Kazo and his team in 2002 to continue their efforts.
“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.”
in 1995 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Earth Day, the Environmental
Hero award is presented to individuals and organizations that volunteer
their time and energy to help NOAA carry out its mission. Previous
recipients include oceanographers Jean-Michel
Cousteau and Sylvia
Earle, and actor Ted Danson, head of the American
There are a total of 36 winners — 35 individuals and one organization. Five awards are being presented posthumously. Recipients of the 2003 NOAA Environmental Heroes Award are:
Recipient and Location
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 the nation’s coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
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