Contact: Greg Hernandez
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


William Reay, Ph.D., manager of the Virginia Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, has been recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as an Environmental Hero for his long-standing commitment to promote research, education and stewardship of estuaries.

The award will be presented to Reay Sept. 12, by Timothy R. E. Keeney, deputy assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere, during a ceremony dedicating the reserve’s Catlett-Burruss Research and Education Laboratory at Gloucester Point, Va. The reserve is managed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at William and Mary College.

Reay is a national and local leader in the effort to improve monitoring of water quality, weather and habitat in estuarine environments. His work has contributed to establishing better shallow water quality criteria for the Chesapeake Bay Program and the state of Virginia. He did landmark work documenting the impacts of Hurricane Isabel on estuarine water quality.

As a leader in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, Reay has been a regional force in the effort to establish a national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), and he was a leader in efforts to establish the NERR System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP), a backbone element in the IOOS.

His role with the Virginia Chesapeake Bay NERR includes coordinating training, acting as a scientific adviser, assisting with education efforts and working with Tidewater Virginia communities to bring science-based information to people whose lives depend on the health of the coast.

Established in 1996, the Environmental Hero Award is presented to individuals and organizations who volunteer their time and energy to help NOAA carry out its mission.

“NOAA and the nation are fortunate to have such dedicated people volunteer so much of their time,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “They set a perfect example for others to follow in their communities. America can benefit from more environmental heroes like Dr. Reay.”

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, 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. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global Earth observation network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web: