2004/04/21 NOAA Fisheries Honors Quincy Resident P.J. Foley as Environmental Hero









Eric Hutchins
(978) 281-9313



April 22, 2004

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NMFS Northeast Regional Office

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Houghs Neck Community Meeting Provides Setting for Announcement

GLOUCESTER, MASS. -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the Department of Commerce, has selected P. J. Foley of Quincy, Massachusetts as an Environmental Hero for 2004. Foley was recognized for his outstanding efforts to promote grass-roots environmental stewardship and habitat restoration in support of the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program.

Held in conjunction with Earth Day celebrations, the award honors NOAA volunteers for their “tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation’s environment.”

“NOAA and the nation are fortunate to have such dedicated people volunteer so much of their time,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph. D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “They set a perfect example for others to follow in their communities. America needs many more Environmental Heroes like them.”

NOAA officials will present the award on April 26th, at 7:00 pm at the Houghs Neck and Salt Marsh Group/ Neighborhood meeting, set for The Most Blessed Sacrament Church/ St. Thomas Aquinas Hall located on Darrow Street in the Houghs Neck section of Quincy, Massachusetts. Foley is also scheduled to discuss salt marsh restoration with the neighborhood group.

A strong supporter of the NOAA Community-based Restoration Program and someone who does not mind getting his feet wet, Foley began rallying his friends, neighbors and local organizations to support an initiative to restore salt marsh habitat and increase awareness of development impacts on coastal resources. His goal often stated at public events is to “re-start the fish generator to provide Quincy and Massachusetts Bay with billions of baby fish each year.”

Foley has personally organized dozens of meetings to discuss the importance of salt marsh habitat to marine fisheries and has organized annual “marsh madness” days where dozens of neighbors work together to clean Quincy marshes. The Mallard Road project; the first of many salt marsh restoration projects spearheaded by P.J. will be implemented as early as June of this year. The project will enhance tidal flow, eliminate invasive species and be part of the larger community initiative to restore recreationally and commercially important fishery resources in Quincy.

PJ was born and grew up the City of Quincy and works for a regional telephone company. PJ has no formal science training but has developed significant expertise in marine fisheries habitat and has addressed this issue during his personal time.

“On behalf of the 12,500 men and women working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I am pleased to present you with this 2004 Environmental Hero Award,” Lautenbacher wrote in a letter to the recipients. “Your dedicated efforts and outstanding accomplishments greatly benefit the environment and make our nation a better place for all Americans.”

There are a total of 33 winners -- 30 individuals and three organizations. Visit the NOAA Earth Day Web site at http://www.noaa.gov/earthday to read more about this year’s award winners.

The Community-based Restoration Program (CRP), a financial and technical assistance program within the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, promotes strong partnerships at the national, regional and local level to fund grassroots, community-based activities. The NOAA-funded projects provide strong on-the-ground habitat restoration components that offer educational and social benefits for people and their communities in addition to long-term ecological benefits for fishery resources. More information about the CRP can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/habitat/restoration.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction of research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries, please visit http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources.

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