Amigos Honored with Excellence in Sustainable Fisheries Award from NOAA

On June 7, 2007 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington DC, Amigos de Bolsa Chica received one of 6 Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administation (NOAA). Amigos' particular category was the Coastal Habitat Restoration Award, recognzing our efforts in acquiring, restoring and preserving 1,200 acres of wetlands off the California Coast. Spanning over 30 years, four governors, and surviving enormous economic pressures for coastal development, the coastal wetlands of Bolsa Chica were restored in 2006 when the inlet into the wetlands was re-created, allowing ocean water to enter the wetlands for the first time in over 100 years. This ecological achievement is testament to the Amigos' tenacious commitment to educating citizens, government, scientists and others about the importance of this marine habitat to sustaining California 's fishery and wildlife populations. This is the first such national recognition Amigos de Bolsa Chica has received in its 30+ year struggle to preserve and restore the Bolsa Chica. NOAA is the fourth largest regulatory agency in U.S. Government.,/

The Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Awards were created to recognize outstanding performance, achievements and leadership by industries, organizations and individuals whose contributions to science and management have served to promote best stewardship practices for the sustained use of the Nation's living marine resources.

The Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Awards were initiated in June 2005 by the Under Secretary of Commerce for the Oceans and Atmosphere and the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries. With the assistance of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, criteria were established for six award catgegories encompassing the fundamental elements necessary for promoting a public stewardship ethic over our nation's living marine resources and assisting NOAA with fulfilling is stewardship mission. NOAA has partnered with the Fish for the Future Foundation to provide a means for the diverse community of constituents to support Stewardship Awards. 2007 was the second annual awards event, and Amigos competed with more than 60 nominees for this recognition.

Others recognized in this year's ceremony were: Don Kent, President of Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute who received the Stewardship & Sustainability Award; the Conservation Partnership Award went to the Coastal Conservation Association of Texas - Bay Debris Cleanup Program; the Science, Research & Technology Award went to The World Wildlife Fund Smart Gear Competition for reducing bycatch in the world's fisheries; the Public Eduation, Community Service & Media Award went to the John G. Shedd Aquarium for building consumer awareness about sustainable seafood; Special Recognition Awards went to Don Hansen of Dana (Point) Wharf Sportfishing, who serves on many state and national fishery boards, and Dr. Brian J. Rothschild of the Montgomery Charter Professor of Marine Science, University of Massachusetts for his outstanding contributions to marine science, education and management of marine fisheries. The entire membership of Amigos is responsible for the acheivement and stands in very distinguished company.

Amigos Board Members Accept Sustainable Fisheries Award from NOAA

Amigos Board of Directors accept the award at the NOAA Awards Dinner on June 7: Dr. David Carlberg, Amigos Vice President; Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher (Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere); Shirley Dettloff, Board and founding member; Dr. William Hogarth (Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA); Thomas Anderson, Amigos President; Brian Westcott, Amigos Treasurer; Craig Frampton, Board member; and Margaret Carlberg, former Board member.