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Office of the Secretary
April 21, 2008
Joan Moody
(202) 208-6416

Secretary of the Interior Kempthorne Presents Cooperative Conservation Award for Earth Day to East Bay Wetland and Water Quality Partnership in Texas

WASHINGTON, D.C.— At a ceremony in the nation’s capital today, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recognized the East Bay Wetland and Water Quality Protection Project in Texas as one of 21 recipients nationwide of the Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award. The project was honored for “exemplary collaborative work sustaining threatened marshland habitat” and providing a “model for efficient and collaborative protection of shorelines in the Galveston Bay system.”

The 21 awards recognized the work of more than 700 groups and individuals who achieved excellence in conservation through collaboration and partnerships.

“These outstanding partnerships and cooperative efforts represent a fundamental way in which our Department provides stewardship for America with integrity and excellence,” Secretary Kempthorne said. “They embody a broad spectrum of conservation work from restoring wetlands, rangelands and mine lands to protecting wildlife, conserving water and fighting invasive species to teaching conservation values to the next generation.”

Collaborative efforts of federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations and private industry have protected nearly 8,000 acres of diverse coastal habitats along the East Bay from severe erosion and habitat degradation. Project partners placed more than three miles of erosion control structures along the East Bay shoreline of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. These structures provided critical protection to one of the most remote and pristine areas in the Galveston Bay system.

Marsh habitats that were protected and restored provide vital nursery grounds for important aquatic species, such as Gulf menhaden, sea trout, southern flounder, red drum and bay anchovy. They also provide critical wintering habitat for waterfowl and grassland bird species, and valuable stopover habitat for neotropical migratory birds.

The Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award recognizes conservation achievements resulting from the cooperation and participation of individual landowners, citizen groups, private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and Federal, State, local, and/or tribal governments.

“This is a fitting start to a week of Earth Day activities,” the Secretary told the crowd at the main Interior auditorium. “If anyone were to ask me why America is the world leader in conservation of natural resources, I would simply point to the people in this auditorium. You are the spirit and you are the hands of cooperative conservation.”

East Bay Wetland and Water Quality Protection Project (Texas)
Nominated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Galveston Bay Foundation
Courtney Miller
Phillip Smith
Bob Stokes
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Eddie Seidensticker
NRG Texas, LLC
Breck Sacra
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program
Jeff DallaRosa
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Doug Jacobson
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Steve Baker
Kelly McDowell
Shaun Sanchez
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Coastal Program
Debbie Devore
John Huffman
Scott Williams

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