Six Honored for Helping Safeguard America’s Valuable Natural Resources

Today at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting, six organizations and individuals were honored by their peers as recipients of the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources.  The Climate Adaptation Leadership Award, established in 2016, recognizes exemplary leadership by individuals, agencies, businesses and other organizations to reduce impacts and advance adaptation of the nation’s vital natural resources and the many people who depend on them in a changing world. 

Recipients were selected from 21 nominations representing activities from individuals and federal, tribal, state, local, and non‐governmental organizations from around the country.

The six awardees are:

Individual Achievement Category: Maria Janowiak, Deputy Director, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, USDA Forest Service
Nongovernmental Organization Category: EcoAdapt
State or Local Category: Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning
Broad Partnership Category: National Coordinating Office, USA National Phenology Network
Federal Government Category: Marine Mammal Climate Vulnerability Team, NOAA Fisheries Service
Tribal Category: Gerald Wagner, Director, Blackfeet Environmental Office, Blackfeet Nation

Read more about our honorees and about the Honorable Mentions here.

“This award recognizes the critical contributions that are made towards safeguarding our Nation’s fish and wildlife in a changing climate,” stated Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “This year’s awardees have done outstanding work and we are thrilled to recognize these important efforts.” 

“Natural resource stewardship, under changing climatic conditions and increasing threat from fire and droughts, requires us to work together to face these urgent challenges,” said Patti Hirami, U.S. Forest Service, Acting Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry. “The individuals and organizations recognized by the Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards demonstrate and recognize the collaborative capacity we are growing together through shared stewardship to build forest and community resilience.”  

Our nation’s natural resources provide important benefits and services to Americans every day, including jobs, income, food, clean water and air, building materials, storm protection, tourism and recreation. For example, hunting, fishing and other wildlife‐related recreation contribute an estimated $120 billion to our nation's economy every year, and marine ecosystems sustain a U.S. seafood industry that supports more than 1.8 million jobs and $214 billion in economic activity annually.

The Award is sponsored and guided by the Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards Steering Committee and is made up of representatives from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and various Federal agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more information about the 2018 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources, including the recipients and honorable mentions, please visit the Climate Adaptation Leadership Award website.

For more information please contact Maggie Ernest Johnson at or 202-838-3464. 

The Award recognizes outstanding efforts to advance adaptation of fish, wildlife and plants as called for in the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy - a unified nationwide effort reflecting shared principles and science-based practices for addressing the threats of a changing climate on fish, wildlife, plants, and the natural systems upon which they depend.