NOAA announces Walter B. Jones awards for coastal and ocean management excellence

June 26, 2012

The late Peter M. Douglas, longtime head of the California Coastal Commission, leads the list of the 2012 Walter B. Jones and NOAA Excellence in Coastal and Ocean Management award winners announced today. Douglas received the Walter B. Jones Coastal Steward of the Year Award in honor of his many contributions to coastal management in California.

“I am especially pleased to honor this year’s award winners, especially Coastal Steward of the Year, the late Peter M. Douglas, who was a coastal management pioneer and former head of the California Coastal Commission,” said Margaret Davidson, acting director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. “Peter was a legend in California’s coastal history and his legacy today is a model for others who follow.”

Douglas served California for 40 years including 26 years as executive director of the state’s coastal commission. He was a key force in the establishment of both the California Coastal Zone Act and Coastal Commission, as well as in drafting the original regulations implementing the federal act. Douglas passed away on April 1, and was made aware of the honor shortly before he died.

Given every two years, the Jones Awards recognize individuals and organizations for their dedication and outstanding contributions in helping the nation maintain healthy coastal and ocean resources, and balance the conservation of these resources with human needs. Winners are selected in three important award categories: Coastal Steward of the Year, Excellence in Local Government, and Excellence in Coastal and Marine Graduate Study.

The awards were created to honor the late 11-term congressman Walter B. Jones of North Carolina. As chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, Jones was a strong supporter of NOAA and its coastal zone management and Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. He provided leadership on numerous legislative initiatives addressing coastal and ocean issues such as commercial shipping, oil spill clean-up and prevention, and flood insurance reform.

The winners of the 2012 Walter B. Jones Awards for Excellence in Coastal and Ocean Management are listed below.

Coastal Steward of the Year: Peter M. Douglas

Excellence in Local Government: Awarded to local governments that have inspired positive change in the field of coastal management by developing or implementing principles embodied by the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Excellence in Coastal and Marine Graduate Study: Recognizes graduate students whose academic study promises to contribute to the development of new or improved approaches to coastal or ocean management.

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