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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected Don Oswalt of Salem, Oregon as one of this year’s NOAA Environmental Hero Award recipients. The award recognizes Oswalt for his outstanding efforts in support of the Oregon Coastal-Ocean Management Program, a Division of Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation and Development. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Oswalt will receive his award July 20, at 1:00 p.m. in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office at the State Capitol in Salem, Oregon
“Your dedicated efforts and outstanding accomplishments greatly benefit the environment and make our nation a better place for all Americans. “said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D. , undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator in a letter to Oswalt accompanying the award. “Thank you for your commitment to preserving our nation’s environment. By setting such a fine example, we hope that others in your community are encouraged to follow in your footsteps. America needs many more Environmental Heroes like you.”
“Like many working for state coastal management programs, Don Oswalt has devoted his professional life to protecting coastal resources. It is the breadth and depth of his accomplishments that makes him a true environmental hero,” says Eldon Hout, director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.
For over 20 years, Oswalt has served as the Oregon Coastal Management Program’s senior policy analyst, administrator of the 306A small construction project program, and in the last ten years added to these duties the task of chief designer and manager of the program’s coastal document collection and library.
As administrator of the 306A program Oswalt worked extensively with NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, serving as a national advisor, to assure that the disabled access provisions for federally funded projects were reasonable and functional. Oswalt is responsible for establishing local partnerships with over 30 local sponsors to establish a variety of 306A sites. His actions contributed greatly to protecting and re-using the world’s largest wooden frame blimp hanger for a World War II warbird museum, preserving from damage the world’s largest Sitka spruce, and establishing a half dozen disabled access fishing locations on coastal rivers.
At the same time Oswalt has conducted the needed in-depth analysis and prepared the draft language for complex administrative rules pertaining to the conservation of estuarine resources, coastal shorelines, beaches and dunes and ocean resources. These topics are the heart of the Oregon Coastal Management program and serve as the basis for the state standards for comprehensive planning and zoning for coastal cities and counties. Oswalt has also led a team of reviewers of local coastal plans and ordinances to determine compliance with state standards
There are a total of 33 winners (30 individuals and three organizations). Who have received this year’s recognition. Previous award recipients include oceanographers Jean-Michel Cousteau and Sylvia Earle and actor Ted Danson.
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.
On the Web:
Environmental Hero Awards for 2004: http://www.noaa.gov/earthday/