NOAA 99-R507
Contact: Jana Goldman


A dedicated participant in the stewardship of the Great Lakes environment was named an Environmental Hero for his efforts to "preserve and protect" the nation's environment by the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR).

Walter "Skip"Hartman, who has played an active role as advisor to the New York Sea Grant's Great Lakes sportsfishery development program area for more than a decade, was one of 27 individuals and seven organizations that were named as NOAA Environmental Heroes for 1999.

"These individuals and organizations represent what can be done by those with a commitment to improving the world in which we live," said David L. Evans, assistant administrator of NOAA. "Their efforts remind us of the variety of ways in which an individual can make a positive difference."

Honorees will receive a certificate for their achievement.

Hartman has served with distinction as chair of the Niagara County Fisheries Development Board, a public advisor-at-large for the Great lakes Fisheries Commission and its Lake Ontario Committee, a member of New York Sea Grant's statewide Program Advisory Committee and the National Sea Grant Panel, and a co-advisor to the Lake Ontario Sportsfisheries Promotion Council.

In all those capacities, he brought intelligence, insight, wisdom, level-headedness, and people skills to play especially when dealing with often contentious and politically charged issues, according to New York Sea Grant which nominated Hartman for this award.

His efforts led to the funding to initiate the Lake Ontario thermal-mapping program, under the aegis of Coastwatch. Most recently he has been instrumental in the development of a cage-culture project for chinook salmon fingerlings as a cooperative effort between sportsfishing stakeholders and fisheries managers.

Hartman would like to give something back to his heritage. As an enrolled Seneca, he has been working with fisheries management people from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Sea rant, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Seneca Nation of Indians to lay the groundwork for a fisheries management plan for the Nation's water resources.

NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research encompasses 12 environmental laboratories, six undersea research centers, 11 joint institutes, the National Sea Grant College program, and the Office of Global Programs.

NOAA's mission is to describe and predict changes in the earth's environment and to conserve and manage wisely the nation's coastal and marine resources.

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