The National Fish Habitat Board, a group of the nation’s leading authorities on aquatic conservation, will honor exceptional organizations and individuals who are leaders in aquatic resources conservation at the Third Annual National Fish Habitat Awards ceremony on April 22, 2010 at the Jim Range National Casting Call (http://www.nationalcastingcall.com/) , hosted by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association.

From the nominations submitted by the hundreds of organizations that comprise the National Fish Habitat Partners Coalition and Fish Habitat Partnerships under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) (www.fishhabitat.org), the awardees have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to fish habitat conservation, science and education. They are leading by example, through on the ground achievement, to help resolve the nation’s most significant fisheries problems.

The NFHAP Awards will be presented in short program, along with the unveiling of the 2010 NFHAP 10 “Waters To Watch”.

The Winners of the 2010 National Fish Habitat Awards are as follows:

Jim Range Conservation Vision Award in support of Fish Habitat Conservation:

Scott Robinson – Coordinator, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP)

Aquatic resource conservation in the Southeastern U.S. has been improved through the leadership of Scott Robinson, coordinator of the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP). Scott spearheaded the development of the Southeast Aquatic Habitat Plan (The Plan) in order to directly and indirectly improve the quality and quantity of fish habitats in the region.

Directly, Scott’s leadership has resulted in local fish habitat improvement in each of the 14 SARP states through 30 on-the-ground projects between 2006 and 2009. These have impacted stream, river, reservoir, and coastal habitats as well as recreational, sensitive and imperiled species. Indirectly, Scott’s leadership trickles down to in-state research and conservation projects that utilize The Plan. Regionally, Scott is coordinating a systematic regional habitat assessment with the NFHAP Science and Data Committee’s habitat assessment, and participates in relevant regional and national aquatic conservation issues such as the Black Bass Initiative and the Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership. Scott’s work and coordination with other Fish Habitat Partnerships, has been exceptional in regards to the fostering of newly formed partnerships.

Southeast Aquatics Resources Partnership – http://southeastaquatics.net/

Extraordinary Action in support of Fish Habitat Conservation:

Lower Bourbeuse Landowner Committee/Missouri Department of Conservation

Efforts to improve aquatic habitat in the Meramec – Lower Bourbeuse watershed, make for a unique partnership that is rarely found on the landscape. The uniqueness of the partnership comes from the sheer fact that landowners, mostly farmers, drive the aquatic restoration process. A well documented history of established landowner participation in the Meramec Basin-Lower Bourbeuse watershed has proven successful in ensuring healthy streams and healthy farms within the watershed.

A six member landowner committee governs and guides restoration efforts in the Lower Bourbeuse Conservation Opportunity Area. The committee leads by example, contributing their time and expertise and choosing funding sources for proposal competitions. They host farm tours to encourage neighbor participation. There has been continuous demand for best management practices for agriculture, fisheries, forestry and wildlife to protect, enhance and restore natural resources. Installation of fencing, alternative water systems, and secured cattle crossings keep cattle out of streams, addressing root causes of habitat deterioration. Landowners appreciate what these projects mean for their watersheds and cattle.

Supporting Document: US FWS Fish Lines Newsletter (May 2009) Pg. 20

http://www.fws.gov/Midwest/Fisheries/library/R3-Fishlines/2009-may.pdf

Scientific Achievement in support of Fish Habitat Conservation:

David Moe Nelson – Marine Biologist, Biogeography Branch (NOAA)

David Moe Nelson led the development of the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership’s (ACFHP) scientifically based ‘Assessment of Existing Habitat Information’, a database of documents, data sets, and information portals on Atlantic coastal fish habitats. As the lead analyst and Partnership collaborator, Moe and his team collected over 500 fish habitat sources, and assessed those sources for indicator, threat, and action information.

The primary objective of the assessment is to inform and enable conservation planning for ACFHP. This project was a cooperative effort of NOAA/NOS Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and the ACFHP Steering Committee and partners. The Assessment included three components -
1. A representative bibliographic and assessment database
2. A GIS spatial framework, and
3. A summary document with description of methods, analyses of habitat assessment information, and recommendations for further work.

Supporting document: Assessment of Existing Information on Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitats

http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/ecosystems/estuaries/coastalfish.html

Outreach and Educational Achievement Award in support of Fish Habitat Conservation:

Wasilla Soil and Water Conservation District

The Wasilla Soil & Water Conservation District (WSWCD) is a leader in education and outreach programs and activities, working in the Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership to spread the word on increasing impacts to salmon from human use and development. WSWCD projects emphasize community-based restoration and stewardship with a diverse group of stakeholders on issues of water quality, water quantity, and fish habitat. By partnering with local schools, community groups, citizen volunteers, and local businesses, they are able to achieve restoration and educational goals. They have coordinated restoration projects to improve the natural conditions and ecological integrity of degraded systems by inviting youth and community volunteers to conduct on-the-ground restoration work, thus fostering stewardship and appreciation for natural resources.
Wasilla Soil & Water Conservation District – www.wasillaswcd.org

The National Fish Habitat Board would like to thank all of the award nominees and nominators for the 2010 NFHAP Awards.
Previous Winners of the NFHAP Awards include:
2008:
• Chesapeake Bay Foundation (Outreach and Education Award),
• The Fish and Aquatic Ecology Unit of the U.S. Forest Service & Trout Unlimited
(Co-winners – Scientific Achievement Award)
• Stephen Perry (Exceptional Vision Award)

2009:
• Lake Leaders Institute, University of Wisconsin- Extension Lakes (Outreach and Education Award)
• EPA Office of Research and Development (Scientific Achievement Award)
• Yvon Chouinard – Patagonia (Jim Range Conservation Vision Award)
• Project SHARE (Extraordinary Action Award)*

*Extraordinary Action award in support of fish habitat was introduced in 2009

About the National Fish Habitat Action Plan
The National Fish Habitat Action Plan is the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to treat the causes of aquatic habitat decline and fix the nation’s most pressing fisheries problems. The Action Plan is a science-based investment strategy to conserve waterways and make conservation dollars stretch farther by combining federal and privately raised funds to build regional partnerships. For more information, visit www.fishhabitat.org.

About the Jim Range National Casting Call
Hosted by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, the Jim Range National Casting Call is an annual two-day event providing a unique opportunity for families, youth, the fly fishing industry and their partners to spend time on the water experiencing first-hand the benefits of collaboration in fisheries management. For more information, visit www.nationalcastingcall.com.

Media Contact
Ryan Roberts
202-624-5851
Communications Coordinator
rroberts@fishwildlife.org

You must be logged in to post a comment.