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NOAA 04 - R439
April 22, 2004


Ben Sherman, NOAA Public Affairs
(301) 713-3066 ext. 178


Seven dedicated individuals and one organization were presented with the 2004 NOAA Environmental Hero Awards on Earth Day 2004 in recognition of their “tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation’s environment,” by the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Ocean Service (NOS).

“NOAA and the nation are fortunate to have such dedicated people volunteer so much of their time,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “They set a fine example for others to follow in their communities. America needs more environmental heroes like them.”

“On behalf of the 12,500 men and women working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I am pleased to present you with this 2004 Environmental Hero Award,” Lautenbacher wrote in a letter to the recipients. “Your dedicated efforts and outstanding accomplishments greatly benefit the environment and make our nation a better place for all Americans.”

“These outstanding individuals and organizations are leading the effort to conserve our resources and protect our environment,” said Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., assistant administrator of NOAA’s Ocean Service. “They serve as excellent examples of leadership and community involvement, especially within our national marine sanctuaries.”

Established in 1995 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Earth Day, the Environmental Hero award is presented to individuals and organizations that volunteer their time and energy to help NOAA carry out its mission.

National Ocean Service recipients of the 2004 honors are:

- Pauline Dyer of Seattle, Wash., who, as a founding member and current president of the Friends of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, has been instrumental in increasing public appreciation and guardianship of the sanctuary.

- Jaimie Hall of San Francisco, Calif., a dedicated volunteer at Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary who has assisted with many research projects, donated his artistic talents to the sanctuary, and provided a voice for the sanctuary among the community.

- Ian Miller of Port Angeles, Calif., the Washington Field Coordinator for Surfrider, who established a water quality monitoring program that includes six beaches within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and volunteers numerous hours on Olympic Coast monitoring projects.

- Monterey Bay Kayaks of Monterey Calif., which actively supports outreach programs within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and has been instrumental in the success of such outreach programs as Team OCEAN Kayak Naturalists and MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans).

- Ken Nedimyer of Tavernier, Fla., who has been a dedicated and active member of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, providing a rational and consensus-building perspective on complex sanctuary issues, and has helped sanctuary staff develop monitoring programs.

- Hannah Nevins of Moss Landing, Calif., who spearheaded a volunteer data collection effort—the Beach COMBERS program. Beach COMBERS is a collaborative effort between Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State University’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratory.

- Donald Oswalt of Salem, Ore., who has served as Oregon’s senior policy analyst for its Coastal Management Program for 20 years, and has initiated and implemented the Coastal Program Document Collection and Library to ensure that the robust collection of documents is well organized and readily accessible.

- Hugh Robert Williams of Savannah, Ga., who coordinates the University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium’s Distance Learning Program and has partnered with Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary education staff since 1997 to bring ocean science programs to students across Georgia.

There are a total of 33 winners—30 individuals and three organizations. Visit the NOAA Earth Day Web site at to read more about this year’s award winners.

The National Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

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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