US Representative Thomas B Evans, Jr: National Conservation Leadership Award

Reston, VA – This weekend, the National Wildlife Federation recognized former U.S. Representative Thomas B. Evans, Jr. with a National Conservation Leadership Award.

“Thomas Evans’ conservation legacy spans the country from Alaska to Florida,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “During his years in the House serving Delaware, Evans’ signature strategy was to bring together diverse coalitions around a common goal. For example, Evans was the primary author of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act that was passed by Congress nearly unanimously. Evans was also instrumental in the passage of the Alaska Land’s Act. In the decades since his time in Congress, Evans has continued his tireless efforts on behalf of our nation’s waters and wildlife.”

The ceremony took place at the National Wildlife Federation’s annual meeting and 80th anniversary celebration, held in Estes Park, Colorado. The National Conservation Leadership Award recognizes exemplary conservation accomplishment or sustained conservation leadership.

“In accepting this honor I do so in remembrance of those many friends in Congress. They were an integral part of our success in securing passage of legislation that was strongly opposed by major special interest groups and their phalanx of lawyers and lobbyists who were paid millions of dollars to defeat us,” Evans said when accepting the award. “We won because Democrats and Republicans worked together – that spirit of working together needs to be rekindled.”

The Honorable Thomas B. Evans, Jr.: National Conservation Leadership Award

Over the past five decades, former U.S. Representative Thomas B. Evans, Jr. has created a conservation legacy that spans the country from Alaska to Florida. Known for an approach that often brought together diverse coalitions to achieve important conservation objectives, Evans was the primary author of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA), which achieved – after major battles – bipartisan and nearly unanimous passage by Congress.

Evans was also instrumental in the passage of the Alaska Land’s Act, which established or expanded vast new national parks, forests and wildlife refuges on millions of acres. Upon leaving office, Evans continued to lobby former colleagues on these critical issues – mostly on his own time and his own dime. Evans’ dedication to the environment goes far beyond his work on behalf of CBRA and Alaska lands.

In 2008, he joined the Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) Board of Directors, during which time he continued to influence conservation efforts by promoting the benefits of important issues to wildlife habitats, public safety, and savings to American taxpayers. He organized and led a successful coalition to prevent an intense development plan in Delray Beach, FL; assisted FWF in successful efforts to prevent the widening and deepening of the channel into West Palm and Rivera Beach, which would have had disastrous consequences on shallow water habitats and manatees; and recently produced, in collaboration with FWF and Teleduction, a video, “Battle for the Barriers,” addressing sea level rise and adaptation strategies and projects in coastal states along the Eastern U.S. seaboard designed to help safeguard people, wildlife and properties. Evans has also served as an advisor to the National Wildlife Federation’s advocacy team in Washington, D.C. on a range of conservation policies throughout the years including his testimony before Congressional Committees. Congressman Evans continues to be an inspiration and role model for successful, committed leadership in critical conservation efforts.

Additional Information

Delaware News-Journal, How a Delawarean preserved the shoreline
Battle for the Barriers, a documentary produced by Evans in collaboration with the Florida Wildlife Federation and Teleduction

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