Christine Woolaway, Hawaii Sea Grant Coastal Recreation & Tourism Extension agent, is the recipient of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 2002 Environmental Hero Award for her outstanding efforts to enhance the safe and pollution-free use of Hawaii waters through proactive prevention and to promote environmental awareness.
NOAA cites her for her efforts to
help clean the NW Hawaiian Isles
Woolaway is credited with bringing together representatives from the university; city and county, state and federal governments; Coast Guard; Navy; and other public and private industry to pool substantial resources to save coral reefs by removing more than 64 tons of polluting marine debris from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
The islands are critical habitat for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, the most endangered marine mammal in America today, as well as green sea turtles and dozens of seabirds.
In 1999, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye awarded Woolaway Vice President Al Gore's Hammer Award in recognition of significant efforts at partnering with public and private organizations while maximizing resources and reducing cost. Having gained public support, the partnership now is central to continuing efforts to protect the fragile coral reef ecosystem of the Hawaiian Islands.
Woolaway also serves as coordinator for the annual islandwide Get the Drift and Bag It! cleanup campaign, the Hawaii contribution to the International Coastal Cleanup. Currently, Woolaway is in discussion with industry, government leaders and Alaska and Washington Sea Grants to explore regional approaches to mitigating the problem of derelict fishing gear circulating within the Pacific Rim.
Gov. Ben Cayetano recognized Woolaway on Tuesday with a commendation presentation in his chambers.
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