WASHINGTON, D.C.— At a ceremony in the nation’s capital today, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne recognized the Jupiter Inlet Working Group as one of 21 recipients nationwide of the Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award.
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.”
The award to the Jupiter Inlet Working Group recognizes the group’s outstanding contributions in the conservation of wetland construction, river slope stabilization, and habitat improvements for endangered species following hurricanes. The partnership has successfully involved the community in management of the area, including providing interpretive tours of the lighthouse to thousands of visitors each year.
The partnership has actively involved local students who conduct long-term monitoring of new tidal wetlands and use the area as an outdoor classroom. Accepting the award on behalf of the group was Karen Golonka, mayor of Jupiter, Florida (See list at end for some of the other groups and individuals involved.)
“Over the last decade, the group has made impressive progress towards conserving the Jupiter Inlet Natural Area,” the award noted. “The dynamic partnership comprised of the Bureau of Land Management, the Town of Jupiter, the Village of Tequesta, Palm Beach County, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Jupiter High School Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy and the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, worked cooperatively to manage the area as a harmonized unit.”
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.”
The Jupiter Inlet Working Group (Florida)
Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management, Jacksonville Field Office
Jupiter High School, Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy
Loxahatchee River Historical Society
Palm Beach County, Florida
Palm Beach County Dept. of Environmental Resource Management
Town of Jupiter, Florida
U.S. Coast Guard
Village of Tequesta, Florida