TPL's Mildred Majoros Wins National Wetlands Award (FL)

May 5, 2008
Florida

MIAMI, Florida, 5/5/2008: Mildred Majoros of Miami, Florida is the winner of the 2008 National Wetlands Award for Conservation and Restoration. Ms. Majoros will be honored for her work with The Trust for Public Land at a ceremony on May 13th in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Majoros led a multi-year effort to preserve 270 acres of critical coastal habitat in Puerto Rico that was slated to become a large-scale resort and two golf courses. As a result of her efforts, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico permanently protected the wetland complex in 2007 by designating it as the San Miguel Natural Reserve. The San Miguel Natural Reserve includes 212 acres of intertidal and emergent wetlands that benefit 14 federally-listed threatened and endangered species and provides one of the most important nesting grounds for the federally endangered leatherback sea turtle. Ms. Majoros is currently negotiating with landowners to protect an additional 140 acres in the region.

"Mildred's dedication and commitment seeing the San Miguel acquisition through to a successful conclusion are nothing short of heroic," says Mr. John Iliff, Southeast Regional Supervisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Restoration Center.

"Mildred encountered myriad and complex issues related to title and survey problems...," says Mr. Greg Chelis, Director of Florida and the Caribbean for the Trust for Public Land, "[and] Mildred handled these matters with the same confidence, determination and problem-solving abilities she exhibited in her negotiations with landowners and their attorneys. She worked tirelessly with the Commonwealth to assure the DNER [Department of Natural and Environmental Resources] and others that their concerns were heard and resolved prior to the closing." "Her quiet but determined work demonstrated that it is indeed possible to conserve land in the face of incredibly powerful economic and development pressures without legal intervention," said Mr. Iliff.

"These wetland champions are restoring and protecting one of America's greatest natural assets through education, conservation, and dedication," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Water. "These profiles, both in courage and in stewardship, show us all how to meet the President's national goal of increasing, not simply maintaining, the quantity and quality of our wetlands."

The ceremony will be held in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room. Members of the press are invited to attend the ceremony. Photographs of the ceremony will be available by May 15th. For more information about the winners, the National Wetlands Awards program, or to reserve a seat at the ceremony, please contact Amanda Martin at wetlandsawards@eli.org.

Since 1989, the National Wetlands Awards program has honored exceptional individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary effort, innovation and excellence in wetlands protection. Their work has been in conservation, research, or education at the regional, state, or local level. The program is administered by the Environmental Law Institute and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Highway Administration, and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. More information on the National Wetlands Awards at www.nationalwetlandsawards.org

The Environmental Law Institute is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization based in Washington, DC. The Institute serves the environmental profession in business, government, the private bar, public interest organizations, academia, and the press. For further information from the Environmental Law Institute, www.eli.org

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2 million acres of land in 46 states. In Florida, TPL has protected more than 300 sites - over 200,000 acres at a market value of about $500 million. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information please call 850-222-7911.