Dec. 15, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Two awards recognizing innovation, creativity and commitment to protecting the marine environment were presented today in Fredericton by Environment Minister Rick Miles and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet.
The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Visionary Awards were presented to Peter Etheridge of Millbrook in the Individual category, and to the Atlantic Reference Centre in St. Andrews in the Group category.
"Every year the Gulf of Maine Council gives two Visionary Awards to New Brunswickers, one to an individual and one to a group," said Miles. "The council believes in the importance of recognizing the hard work people do to protect the coast and waters of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine, and the Visionary Awards are an example of this. I am certainly pleased to present these awards to these deserving New Brunswick recipients."
The Gulf of Maine council on the Marine Environment is a collaboration of provincial departments in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and state departments in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, that aims to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine.
"Each of the New Brunswick recipients has contributed to furthering sustainable resources in the province," said Doucet. "As fisheries minister, I am very proud of the work they have done, and congratulate them for the positive impact they have made to the environment."
Etheridge has been involved in conservation and sustainability for 20 years. He is being recognized for his key role in establishing the UNESCO Fundy Biosphere Reserve. He also served as co-ordinator of the Fundy Model Forest from 1997 to 2002, and has volunteered in many capacities with various environmental groups. These activities have led to the protection of the marine system and international recognition for the uniqueness of the Bay of Fundy.
The Atlantic Reference Centre is a research museum for Canadian marine life and a centre for biodiversity information. It was created in 1984 by the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Services delivered include sample processing and specimen identification, information, advice and research. Scientists at the centre train students, technicians and researchers in the identification and curation of aquatic organisms, and offer a course on the analysis of biological diversity and community structure. The centre's work contributes to the understanding and protection of marine life in the Gulf of Maine.
Two other New Brunswick award recipients accepted their awards in New Hampshire earlier this month.
Byron James, deputy minister of post-secondary education, training and labour, received the Susan Snow Cotter Award honouring coastal management professionals who exemplify outstanding leadership or exceptional mentoring in the Gulf of Maine watershed.
The Fundy North Fishermen's Association received the Gulf of Maine Industry Award, which recognizes demonstrated innovation and leadership in efforts to improve the well-being of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities in it.
More information on the Visionary Awards is available online.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700; Gisèle Regimbal, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-444-4218.