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National Wildlife Federation Takes First-Ever Stand against Single-Use Plastics at 82nd Annual Meeting

Federation Also Establishes Zimmerman Award and Fellowship, Awards Top Conservationists, and Elects New Board Leadership

Chantilly, VA – The National Wildlife Federation took its first-ever stand against single-use plastics at its 82nd Annual Meeting that just concluded in Chantilly, Virginia, with NWF affiliates approving a resolution backing local and state limits where appropriate. The Federation also announced the Kate Zimmerman Public Lands Champion Award and Policy Fellowship, presented a series of Conservation Achievement Awards, and elected Bill Houston of Maine to succeed Kathy Hadley as chair of the NWF Board of Directors in 2019.

The Federation is made up of 51 state and territorial affiliate partners, a diverse network that elects key members of NWF’s leadership and sets NWF’s conservation policy priorities each year. Last year, affiliates approved a new strategic plan that continues to guide NWF’s work.

Resolutions Approved

Annual Meeting, Collin O'Mara The resolution against single-use plastics, such as bags, straws and polystyrene foam, cites the growing dangers to marine life from the 150 million metric tons of plastic waste in the ocean today and the 22 million pounds of plastic that flows into the U.S. Great Lakes every year. It backs city, county, or state regulatory bans on single-use plastic items when appropriate.

Affiliates also approved resolutions:

Kate Zimmerman Public Lands Award and Fellowship 

Kate Zimmerman Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, announced the creation of two honors in the memory of Kate Zimmerman, NWF’s public lands policy director who passed away in January and whose influence was felt from the Colorado backcountry to the halls of Congress. In her 20-year career with NWF, Kate worked tirelessly to help conserve millions of acres of public lands and an array of wildlife, including mule deer, greater sage-grouse, pronghorns, lynx, elk, cutthroat trout and wolves.

The Kate Zimmerman Public Lands Champion Award will go to a woman who exemplifies leadership in public lands protection, and the Kate Zimmerman Public Lands Policy Fellowship will support the work of a law school student in NWF’s Rocky Mountain Regional Center in Denver. Anyone interested in honoring Kate’s memory can contribute at NWF.org/ZimmermanFellow.

Conservation Achievement Awards

Michelle Blair, NWF The National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Awards began in 1966. Since then, the National Wildlife Federation has celebrated individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy, communication and on-the-ground conservation. Previous honorees have included former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson and Michelle Obama, as well Sen. John McCain, Robert Redford and Elon Musk.

This year’s NWF Conservation Achievement Awards included:

The National Wildlife Federation presented Conservation Achievement Awards to Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, at NWF’s America’s Wild Outdoors event in March.

NWF Board of Directors

In addition to naming Bill Houston chair-elect, affiliates elected:

  • Central Vice Chair: Mary Van Kerrebrook
  • Director, Region 6: Eric Freyfogle
  • Director, Region 9: Brian Bashore
  • Director, Region 1: Michael Bartlett
  • Director, Region 7: Cody Kamrowski
  • Director, Region 8: Allyn Dukes
  • Director, Region 13: Siva Sundaresan, Ph.D.
  • Director, Region 5: Paul Sloan

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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