On Friday (October 17), U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy accepted the prestigious Champion of the Everglades award, while 300 attendees cheered, during the 2014 Audubon Assembly at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Resort & Marina in Stuart, Florida.
Audubon presents the Champion of the Everglades award each year to a person who has gone above and beyond to protect South Florida’s water and wildlife. Previous recipients include Nathaniel Reed, Senator Bob Graham, and Governor Jeb Bush. The award is reserved for those with demonstrated commitment to protecting the Everglades.
Eric Draper, Audubon Florida executive director, said, “Patrick Murphy has shown extraordinary leadership on behalf of the Everglades, the St. Lucie estuary, and the Indian River Lagoon. He has galvanized support in Congress for legislation to speed up the pace of constructing restoration projects that are so important to improving regional water resources. Murphy is a true champion.”
Murphy introduced legislation to advance the Central Everglades Planning Project, convened a summit that brought together Congressional leadership with advocates for the St. Lucie River, and worked with state and federal officials to get Kissimmee River Restoration project back on track. When presented the award, Murphy was greeted with a standing ovation.
The annual Audubon Assembly is Florida's signature conservation event and attracts 300 conservation leaders from around the state.
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