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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOAA05-R433
April 20, 2005

CONTACT:
Cheva Heck/NOAA Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary
(305) 292-0311, Ext. 26

CAPTAIN SCOTT FOWLER RECEIVES NOAA ENVIRONMENTAL HERO AWARD

Capt. Scott Fowler, a scientific diver and captain for the National Undersea Research Center, has been recognized by NOAA as a 2005 Environmental Hero for his long-standing commitment to raising public awareness for protection of the Florida coral reef ecosystem. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The award was presented to Fowler at a reception sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Wednesday evening in Duck Key, Fla. NOAA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere Timothy R. E. Keeney presented the award.

Fowler continually highlights the wonders of the Florida Keys coral reef ecosystem and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in his weekly column that appears in the Upper Keys Reporter. Over the past year Fowler has participated in developing the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary's Blue Star program that is designed to recognize dive and snorkel operators who meet high standards in educating their customers about the Sanctuary and the marine environment.

Established in 1996, the Environmental Hero Award is presented to individuals and organizations that volunteer their time and energy to help NOAA carry out its mission.

"NOAA and the nation are fortunate to have such dedicated people volunteer so much of their time," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "They set a perfect example for others to follow in their communities. America needs more environmental heroes like Scott."

"Having someone who so enthusiastically volunteers his time to teach divers and snorkelers how to conduct their dives in a responsible manner in the fragile coral reef ecosystem is a tremendous asset to the residents of the Keys," said Keeney in presenting the award. "We need more people like Scott and NOAA is proud to recognize his many contributions in support of our mission."

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.


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Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: http://floridakeys.noaa.gov


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