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Nominate an Outstanding Steward in Marine, Coastal, or Riverine Habitat Conservation

March 15, 2024

The Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award nomination period is open until July 1, 2024.

An inset of Dr. Nancy Foster on top of a picture of spiky green marsh grasses close up on a flat expanse of water with a sandy shore in the background Salt marsh habitat in the Chesapeake Bay. Credit: Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve—Virginia

Do you know someone who has demonstrated exceptional achievement and dedication to marine, coastal, or riverine habitat conservation?

NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation and the American Fisheries Society are seeking nominations for the 2024 Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award. Nominations are due by July 1, 2024. The nomination form includes information on eligibility and how to apply. Nominees must reside in the United States or a U.S. territory.

The 2024 Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award presentation will take place during the Restore America’s Estuaries 2024 Coastal & Estuarine Summit in Arlington, Virginia, October 6–10, 2024. The award recipient will receive invitational travel to the summit. More details about the awards ceremony and conference will be announced in the coming months.

History of the Award

NOAA established the Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award in 1997 to recognize and honor individuals for their valuable work in conserving marine, coastal, and riverine environments. The award is presented in honor of Dr. Foster’s exceptional contributions and efforts to protect and restore these habitats.

Dr. Foster’s Legacy

Dr. Foster, a marine biologist from Electra, Texas, served at NOAA for 23 years, leaving a lasting imprint on the agency. She joined NOAA in 1977, and NOAA Fisheries in 1986. There, she created the Office of Habitat Conservation, and its divisions the NOAA Restoration Center, and the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office. She served as acting Assistant Administrator and then Deputy Assistant Administrator of NOAA Fisheries before becoming Assistant Administrator of the NOAA National Ocean Service in 1997. Dr. Foster was the first recipient of the Foster Award. She passed away in June 2000, after creating a legacy as a pioneer and visionary in coastal and marine ecosystem conservation.

We continue to honor Dr. Foster’s legacy, unique vision, and understanding of marine, coastal, and riverine ecosystems. We do so by recognizing today’s outstanding stewards of habitat conservation. Past award winners include volunteers, scientists, journalists, teachers, administrators, and others who have made important contributions to the field.

Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on April 30, 2024