Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island Honored by the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement

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From left to right: Graham Taylor, Refuge Supervisor for Region 5, Charlie Vandemore, Project Leader, Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Cathy Sparks, Assistant Director for Natural Resources, Richard Thieke, President of Friends of Rhode Island NWR, David Houghton, President of The National Wildlife Refuge Association, Senator Jack Reed, Sharon Marino, Deputy Chief of Refuges for Region 5, Wendi Weber, Northeast Regional Director, USFWS, Scott Kahn, Regional Chief of the NWR System, Terry Sullivan, The Nature Conservancy RI State Director. | Emily Paciolla

This morning, August 14, Senator Jack Reed, D-RI, was presented with the 2014 Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement
(CARE) Award for his outstanding support of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Reed, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, has been a longtime supporter of adequate funding for America’s wildlife refuges and has demonstrated his commitment to conservation through his leadership in Congress.

“Sen. Reed is one of the strongest supporters of the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said David Houghton, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, which leads the CARE coalition. “But his efforts this past year stand out. The Refuge System was facing massive budget cuts that would have meant layoffs, refuge closures and major economic impacts for communities that depend on nearby refuges for tourism and recreation. But thanks to Sen. Reed’s leadership, the Refuge System received a 4-percent budget increase at a critical time.”

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David Houghton, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, presents Senator Reed with his award, a Pipping Plover Carving. | Emily Paciolla

Community leaders, refuge staff, and local supporters all came out in support of Reed, a native of Cranston, RI, who is very familiar with the Refuge System, with five national wildlife refuges in his state. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which did nearly $70 million in damage to several Northeast refuges, Reed made a point of ensuring the refuges and surrounding communities impacted by the storm received federal funding to repair the damage and make them more resilient to future storms.

The award was presented at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middleton, RI. The 242-acre refuge provides an important stopover and wintering area for migratory birds and is an economic asset to the local community.

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Wendi Weber, USFWS Northeast Regional Director, addresses a group of community leaders, refuge staff and local supporters before the presentation of Senator Reed’s award. | Emily Paciolla

The CARE coalition is comprised of 23 wildlife, sporting and conservation organizations that span the political spectrum, representing 16 million Americans who value outdoor recreation and wildlife conservation. For more information about CARE, please visit fundrefuges.org

Click here to view the full press release.