NOAA 2004-R243
Contact: Marilu Trainor

NOAA News Releases 2004
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Pietro Parravano, a commercial fisherman and past President of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, will be receiving the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Environmental Hero Award. The award will be presented by Vickie Nadolski, National Weather Service (NWS) Western Region director, during ceremonies to be held May 20 as part of a NWS Marine Users Group meeting in Half Moon Bay.

Held in conjunction with Earth Day celebrations, the award honors NOAA volunteers for their “tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation's environment.” The award recognizes Parravano, owner/operator of the commercial fishing vessel Anne B, for improving the awareness of NWS forecasters and NOAA Office of Research (OAR) staff to the hazards faced by the California fishing community. “His contributions to NWS training programs and input to yearly field research programs conducted by OAR and NWS have been invaluable,” said Dave Reynolds, NWS meteorologist in charge for the San Francisco Bay area.

“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 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,” Lautenbacher wrote 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.”

“Pietro has been a leader in coastal marine issues for many years, as is illustrated by his roles as a Commissioner on the Pew Oceans Commission and as a past president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations,” Reynolds added. “Over the last few years he has also contributed significantly to NOAA's operational and research efforts through his participation in marine forecaster training courses, and in planning of NOAA’s Pacific Land-Falling Jets – known as PACJET – and other research programs.”

Reynolds and Dr. Martin Ralph, of NOAA’s Environmental Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado and principal scientist for PACJET and other research projects, teamed together to submit the fisherman’s nomination. "Pietro has provided valuable information and insights into the needs for better short-term coastal marine forecasts," Ralph said. “His information has helped shape the PACJET effort and he has provided the real-world experience upon which research and operational priorities have been set. Pietro has eloquently described the need for improved forecasting as a way to offset the increased risks that fisherman must take as the seasons and areas for fishing have been reduced.”

“Pietro Parravano has been a staunch advocate of a healthy marine environment, sustainable fishing practices, and advancing research to improve water management and coastal forecasting that can save lives and property,” Reynolds added. “He recently helped NWS Monterey establish a Marine Users Group that will greatly improve NWS products and services to the marine community.”

This past November, Mr. Parravano presented an invited paper at the Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands. His paper was titled “Mobilizing for Implementation of the Commitments Made at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development for UNESCO in Paris.” He is also a U.S. Delegate representing the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fishworkers.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NWS operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

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.

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