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Press Release

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April 22, 2005


Greg Hernandez
(202) 482-3091


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration presented its Environmental Hero Award to 34 individuals and three organizations this year from across the United States. Given in conjunction with Earth Day celebrations, the award honors NOAA volunteers for their “tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation's environment.”

“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., undersecretary 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 them.”

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.

“On behalf of the 12,500 men and women working for NOAA, I am pleased to present you with this 2005 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.”

There are a total of 37 winners—34 individuals (three posthumous) and three organizations. Visit the NOAA Earth Day Web site at to read more about this year’s award winners. Recipients of the 2005 NOAA Environmental Heroes Award are:

Recipient -- Location

Gus Martinez (posthumous) - Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Robert “Stubby” Knowles (posthumous) - Gloucester, Mass.
Ronnie M. Pierce (posthumous) - Hoopa, Calif.
Darin Zarbnisky - Boise, Idaho
Mike Jani - Calpella, Calif.
Dean Martinelli - Windsor, Calif.
Cam Parry - Windsor, Calif.
Michael McHenry - Port Angeles, Wash.
Michael O’Reilly - Dartmouth, Mass.
James Kirkley - Gloucester Point, Va.
Patrick M. Burchfield - Brownsville, Texas
William D. Ruckelshaus - Seattle, Wash.
Grant W. Goodge - Asheville, N.C.
Capt. Scott Fowler - Key Largo, Fla.
Carol Keiper - Benicia, Calif.
Linda Feix - Huron, Ohio
Howard Eugene - Wright Huron, Ohio
Janet Lamont - Port Angeles, Wash.
Judith Stillion - Alpena, Mich.
Paul “Pete” McLain - Toms River, N.J.
Peter de Jung - San Rafael, Calif.
Richard Littleton - Seattle, Wash.
William Reay - Gloucester Point, Va.
Leslie Chapman-Henderson - Tallahassee, Fla.
Charles T. Byars - Wichita Falls, Texas
Bethany Lovette - Slidell, La.
Chad Pregracke - East Moline, Ill.
Paul Toth - Seminole, Fla.
Bob Stanhope Valrico, Fla.
Sean Fleeman - New Port Richey, Fla.
Maria Falcon - Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
Billy Frank Jr. - Olympia, Wash.
Mary Cook - Batesville, Ark.
Diane Stanitski - Shippensburg, Pa.
National Aquarium in Baltimore, Aquarium Conservation Team - Baltimore, Md.
Tennessee Valley Authority - Knoxville, Tenn.
Wichita County Amateur Radio Emergency Services - Wichita Falls, Texas

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, 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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