Mr. Michael Bryant
Bonner Bridge Replacement: A Voice for the Environment
Pea Island and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Manteo, North Carolina
Mr. Michael Bryant, Refuge Manager for the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, is recognized for over ten years of collaborative planning on a team of fourteen federal and state agencies who must build a replacement to the Bonner Bridge. Spanning the environmentally sensitive Oregon Inlet of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, most sites under consideration for the new bridge would have affected the Refuge and inlet environment adversely. Mr. Bryant's exceptional achievement is the way in which he has maintained positive lines of communication to champion the most environmentally sound options. At any point during these discussions, the Department of Transportation (DOT) could have appealed to Congress for the Right of Eminent Domain, taking away the Refuge's right to protest environmentally unsound options and leading to a time consuming and expensive legal battle. DOT has never considered such a course of action. Although a final site for a replacement bridge has not yet been selected, the most environmentally hazardous sites are no longer in consideration. Mr. Bryant is recognized for his decade long endeavor which is an exemplary instance of the Secretary Norton's 4 Cs: communication, consultation, and cooperation all in the service of conservation.
Mike Bryant, Refuge Manager, Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges