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Secretary Jewell Presents 2013 Partners in Conservation Awards

January 16, 2014

The National Park of American Samoa through the efforts of Tavita Togia and the terrestrial crew bagged one of the twenty conservation awards from the Department of the Interior.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today presented the Department of the Interior’s 2013 Partners in Conservation Awards to 20 public-private partnerships that have achieved exemplary conservation results through cooperation and community engagement. Together, the 20 award-winning partnerships include recipients representing more than 260 organizations and individuals from across the United States and the world.

Department of the Interior Field Office Director Lydia Faleafine-Nomura (fourth from right, third row) with the national park resource management crew. Through the assistance of Field Office Director Faleafine-Nomura, the national park received about $226,000 to restore 2,840 acres of native forest and engage local youth to do the work.

Department of the Interior Field Office Director Lydia Faleafine-Nomura (fourth from right, third row) with the national park resource management crew. Through the assistance of Field Office Director Faleafine-Nomura, the national park received about $226,000 to restore 2,840 acres of native forest and engage local youth to do the work.

“The Department of the Interior is proud to recognize the accomplishments of those who are innovating and collaborating in ways that address today’s complex conservation and stewardship challenges,” Secretary Jewell said at an awards ceremony at the Interior headquarters in Washington today. “These partnerships represent the gold standard for how Interior is doing business across the nation to power our future, strengthen tribal nations, conserve and enhance America’s great outdoors and engage the next generation.”

The Partners in Conservation Awards recognize outstanding examples of conservation legacies achieved when the Department of the Interior engages groups and individuals representing a wide range of backgrounds, ages and interests to work collaboratively to renew lands and resources.

At the annual awards ceremony, the Department of the Interior celebrated conservation achievements that highlight cooperation among diverse federal, state, local and tribal governments; public and private entities; non-profit organizations; and individuals. Several awards also have bi-national or international partners.

Welcoming senior leaders from the Government of Mexico, for example, Secretary Jewell was pleased to present an award to the “Minute 319 Bi-National Partnership” for implementation of the recent agreement between Mexico and the United States to cooperate on Colorado River water use and environmental issues. She recognized the “Huron Erie Corridor Initiative” for cooperation on the international boundary between Canada and the United States.

The award winners also include innovative science research conservation partnerships such as the “Rigs to Reefs” and the “Renewable Energy Stewardship” programs, as well as landscape-level habitat restoration and conservation partnerships such as the Cienega Watershed in Arizona and Edwards Aquifer Initiative in Texas.

Other partnerships prepare America’s youth to be the next generation of environmental stewards for public lands through participation in corps, service learning, STEM and other educational and employment experiences. Examples of winning partnerships with a strong youth component include the Groundwork USA Network, Klamath Tribal Leadership Program, Center for Land Based Learning, Great Plains Nature Center, and others.

As an example of the scope and diversity of the 2013 winning partnerships, the “Minute 319 Bi-National Partnership” award recognizes agencies of the Mexico government, states in the Colorado River Basin, and water users and environmental organizations in both countries as well as partners from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Likewise, the U.S.-Canada “Huron-Erie Corridor Initiative” brings together 34 federal, tribal, First Nation, state, provincial, local and nongovernmental groups.

Diverse partners in “The “Atlantic Canyons – Pathways to the Abyss” partnership include Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and USGS; the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; nine universities and colleges, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; and four other private research organizations, museums and institutes. They collaborate on the use of robotic underwater vehicles and other cutting-edge tools to discover and research deep-water coral habitats.

A list of this year’s twenty award-winning partnerships follows. More details about each partnership and the organizations involved can be found here.

Cienega Watershed Partnership, Arizona
Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management

Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, Arizona, Utah
Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension – Bootstraps Program, Nevada
Nominated by the Bureau of Land Management

Atlantic Canyons – Pathways to the Abyss, Mid-Atlantic Region/International
Nominated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Renewable Energy Stewardship Policy, National
Jointly Nominated by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Rigs to Reefs Policy, National
Jointly Nominated by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Cultural Resources Team of the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership, Nevada
Nominated by the Bureau of Reclamation

Minute 319 Bi-National Partnership, International
Jointly Nominated by the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation

Center for Land Based Learning Partnership, California
Nominated by the Fish and Wildlife Service

Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program – Balancing the Needs of Wildlife, Water, and People, Texas
Nominated by the Fish and Wildlife Service

Great Plains Nature Center – An Urban Oasis for Wichita Area Youth and Conservationists, Kansas,
Nominated by the Fish and Wildlife Service

Klamath Tribal Leadership Development Program for Integrative Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge, California, Oregon
Nominated by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs

The Groundwork USA Network, National Program
Nominated by the National Park Service

American Samoa Rainforest Partnership, American Samoa
Nominated by the National Park Service

Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative Flight 93 Reforestation Project, Pennsylvania
Nominated by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

AMD Treat Software Partnership, Pennsylvania and West Virginia
Nominated by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, Alaska
Nominated by the United States Geological Survey

Huron Erie Corridor Initiative Partnership, International
Nominated by the United States Geological Survey

Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership, California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Nominated by the United States Geological Survey

Restoring Threatened and Endangered Fishes of the Truckee River Watershed, California
Nominated by the United States Geological Survey

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