John Yeingst, Communications Coordinator
Defenders of Wildlife celebrated its 2013 Wildlife Conservation Awards Dinner on Thursday. 250 guests attended, including members of Defenders’ Board of Directors and National Council, members of Congress and other supporters who traveled from as far as Arizona, California and Florida to celebrate our award recipients. The event raised over $300,000 in vital funds to support Defenders’ mission to protect our nation’s wildlife and special places.
Four individuals were recognized for their exceptional achievements in the areas of public service, science advocacy, science and lifetime achievement. Author, Emmy-Award winning entertainer and Defenders Board member Jeff Corwin hosted the ceremony, and two co-chairs and Defenders Board members also attended: Caroline D. Gabel and Emmy Award winner Ed Asner.
Defenders was delighted to honor Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Nick Wiley, with the Spirit of Defenders Public Service Award for his dedication to a wide range of conservation issues such as sustainable management of American alligators to getting youth outdoors. As a field biologist, Wiley is most recognized for his dedication to the preservation of our nation’s heritage.
The Spirit of Defenders Citizen Advocacy Award was given to The Honorable Nathaniel P. Reed, a committed advocate for wildlife and public lands conservation for more than four decades. Reed has played a major role in the advancement of some of the most important environmental treaties and laws such as the Endangered Species Act, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Author and professor at Princeton University, Dr. David S. Wilcove was presented with the Spirit of Defenders Science Award for his development of scientific strategies aimed at protecting wildlife and endangered species. Through his publications, Dr. Wilcove has helped open the eyes of the public to the importance of conservation biology, biogeography and ornithology.
Professor John D. Leshy, a lawyer in the Interior Department throughout the Clinton Administration and co-founder of the western office of the Natural Resources Defense Council, was honored with the Legacy Award. As an advocate for the Endangered Species Act, Prof. Leshy’s commitment to public lands conservation and public service truly marks him as one of the most significant conservationists today.
Thank you to those who supported this exciting event and to our award winners for their commitment to defending imperiled wildlife and habitats!