Two members of the Florida congressional delegation were honored by Audubon Florida with the “Champions of the Everglades” award.
More than 300 participants from across the state met at the Audubon Assembly in Gainesville this week as the group honored U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., for their work protecting the Everglades.
“Senator Rubio and Congresswoman Schultz were both recognized for their individual achievements and their exemplary bipartisan partnership to secure much-needed funding to advance the largest ecosystem restoration project in the world. Both members of Congress this year were able to accomplish an appropriations bill in their respective committees that secures a historic $200M for Everglades restoration projects,” Audubon Florida noted. “Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has been instrumental in passing the bill out of her committee and through the full House this year, which builds on all of her years of support and leadership for America’s Everglades. Senator Rubio led the charge in the Senate’s Appropriations Committee and managed to push the bill out of committee ensuring that $200M for Everglades restoration remained in the Senate’s version. The senator also fought to secure an additional $100,000 in funding to support Florida Grasshopper Sparrow recovery efforts and committee language emphasizing the importance of the captive breeding program to help recover one of the most endangered birds in North America. The work by Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and Senator Rubio gets us closer than ever before to finally achieve the level of funding needed to accelerate completion of ongoing Everglades projects and continue critically important Endangered Species recovery.”
Other conservation leaders recognized during the Assembly include:
- Joyce King received the Lifetime Achievement Award
- The Rathmann Family Foundation received the Philanthropist of the Year Award
- Charlie Causey received the Theodore Roosevelt Award
- The City of Orlando received the Guy Bradley Award
- Mark Middlebrook received the Special Places Award
- Dick and Sharon Stillwell, volunteers at Corkscrew, received the Volunteers of the Year Award
- Lt. Evan Laskowski with FWC received the Law Enforcement Award