Fledgling conservation group wins EPA award

ATLANTA --Partners in Amphibians and Reptile Conservation (PARC) received an Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4. The U.S. EPA honored the recipients of its inaugural Environmental Merit Awards at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The Aiken, SC-based group took the award for Environmental, Community and Non profit organizations.

"Those honored today have gone above and beyond the call of duty to address public health and natural resource protection issues of concern and, in so doing, have made this region a better place for all of us," said John H. Hankinson, Jr., EPA Regional Administrator in Atlanta. "They have demonstrated that hard work and collaborative problem solving can bring positive environmental results."

PARC was formed in 1999 when more than 170 organizations and agencies came together to develop a comprehensive strategy for long-term conservation of amphibians, reptiles and their habitats. Participants included representatives from universities, nature centers, state wildlife departments, federal agencies, forest product companies and pet trade organizations. PARC began primarily as an effort of those in the Southeastern United States, but quickly expanded to include 33 other states, as well as Canada and Mexico. The diversity of participants makes PARC the most comprehensive, pro-active conservation effort ever undertaken for amphibians and reptiles. By taking action now through public/private partnerships, PARC aims to prevent dozens of species from ever being listed as endangered.

Dr. Whit Gibbons, a founding member of PARC and Senior Ecologist at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, said he is excited about the award because, it will direct attention to these animals that are such an important part of our environment.


Contact: Rosemary Forrest
DOE/Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

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