News Releases

FWC biologist honored

News Release

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 endangered.

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 Okeechobee ecosystem."



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