FWC biologist honored
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459
Recognized as one of the state's premier experts on
Lake Okeechobee ecology, Donald Fox, a biological administrator
with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC),
was named 2010 Fisheries Biologist of the Year by the Southeastern
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Fox, who has been with
the FWC for nearly 30 years, received the honor last Tuesday at the
association's annual conference in Biloxi, Mississippi.
"The FWC has given me the opportunity to pursue a
career in natural resource management, a responsibility that I
approach with love and passion," said Fox. "Working in the
Kissimmee River/Lake Okeechobee/Everglades system is challenging,
but also extremely rewarding. I am deeply honored to be recognized
by SEAFWA, for I believe there is no greater honor than to be
recognized by one's peers."
As a biological administrator for the FWC's
Division of Habitat and Species Conservation, Fox manages the
habitats supported by Lake Okeechobee, the second largest
freshwater lake in the country. The lake and its associated marsh
and open-water habitats are home to rich and dynamic fish and
wildlife species, some of which are listed as threatened and
Additionally, the lake provides many recreational
and commercial opportunities, including fishing, boating, wildlife
viewing and duck hunting. These activities generate significant
revenue to the state and local economy.
In recent years, Fox has led efforts to design and
implement multi-million-dollar habitat-enhancement projects
benefitting Okeechobee's fish and wildlife.
Fox has worked closely with the FWC's partners to
make substantial scientific contributions to the understanding of
the lake's ecology and its conservation needs. The lake, once a
rapidly degrading aquatic ecosystem, is slowly recovering.
Tim Breault, director of the FWC's Division of
Habitat and Species Conservation, said, "We are extremely proud of
Don and the fact that he has been recognized by his fellow
professionals in the Southeast for his commitment and contributions
to Lake Okeechobee restoration. Our citizens and visitors are
enjoying a healthier, cleaner lake today, and this is largely due
to Don's dedication and diligence in managing the fragile Lake