FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Glenda Powell
News Releases 2005
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William Aalbersberg, of Suva, Fiji Islands, has won the 2005 NOAA Excellence Award for Promoting Diversity in Coastal or Ocean Resource Management. Administered by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the award honors an individual who has made an outstanding commitment to integrating cultural or ethnic diversity into coastal or ocean resource management programs. A ceremony to honor Aalbersberg and the other winners will take place on March 9, 2005 in Washington, D.C. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
As director of the University of the South Pacific's Institute of Applied Science, Aalbersberg has developed a team of young scientists skilled in community work to assist indigenous Fijians to develop management plans and monitor their inshore marine resources. As part of these efforts, community members also work with government, industry and non-governmental organizations to identify threats to the coastal environment and take action to counter these threats.
“From coast to coast, remarkable people are making a difference. These awards honor the coastal and ocean stewards who dedicate countless hours and energy to conserving coastal resources and improving coastal communities,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.
Under the Coastal Zone Management Act, every two years NOAA honors the achievements and accomplishments of those who make noteworthy contributions in the management of the nation’s coast.
The awards were created to honor the late North Carolina Congressman Walter B. Jones. As chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, Congressman Jones was a strong supporter of the National Marine Fisheries Service and Coastal Zone Management. He provided leadership on numerous legislative initiatives addressing coastal and ocean issues ranging from commercial shipping to oil spill clean-up and prevention to flood insurance reform.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and to providing environmental stewardship of our Nation’s coastal and marine resources.
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