Dr. Pete Schroeder was awarded the Eleanor Stopps Award for Environmental Leadership this morning at the annual breakfast held by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
Dr. Schroeder is a Marine Mammal Veterinarian with the National Marine Mammal Foundation. Throughout his 50 year career studying marine mammals, Dr. Schroeder has improved the lives of these animal through direct veterinarian care, advocacy and education.
He has served as vice president and board member of the North Olympic Land Trust, Friends of the Fields and the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. Additionally, he is a member of the Clallam Conservation Commission, the Dungeness River Management Team, the Steering Committee to the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program and as a representative of the Lead Entity Advisory Group to the governor’s Monitoring Forum for salmon recovery and Habitat restoration.
In 2004, Dr. Schroeder was appointed to the Fish and Wildlife Commission by Governor Gary Locke. Dr. Schroeder is currently serving his second term as a member of the Farmland Protection Advisory Committee for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation’s Farmland Preservation Program. Dr. Schroeder led the response to the 2002 stranding of the orca “Hope”. He advised in the collection of the gray whale by the Marine Science Center in May 2016.
In 2013, I interviewed Dr. Schroeder for the video I produced for the Dungeness River Management Team and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, on restoration of the Dungeness River, called “Working for the River.” You can watch the film and listen to the work that Dr. Schroeder did on behalf of donating his own land into the land trust along the river, to protect habitat.
The 2016 Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award recognizes significant contributions in the protection and stewardship of our North Olympic Peninsula natural environment. The award pays tribute to Eleanor Stopps whose vision, advocacy and determination exemplify the power and importance of citizen leadership. From the 1960s through the 1990s Eleanor Stopps was an active member of the NW conservation community. Eleanor founded the Admiralty Audubon Chapter and took over the work of Zella Schultz to protect the nesting habitat for 72,000 pairs of seabirds nesting on Protection Island. She was also a tireless educator working with groups of students and Girl Scouts to raise environmental awareness. Eleanor Stopps recognized the need to protect the uniquely important marine environment of the Salish Sea. With no special political base or powerful financial backers she formed a coalition of grassroots supporters who worked to get legislation and public support for protection of Protection Island and the surrounding marine waters. She was a primary driver behind the establishment of the Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge, one of the few established by an Act of Congress at that time. Today, it is a critical habitat link in the preservation of the whole Salish Sea region, providing breeding habitat for Pigeon Guillemots and Rhinoceros Auklets, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons, Harbor Seals and Elephant Seals, and a myriad of other species.
The Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award is given annually to a citizen of the North Olympic Peninsula (Jefferson and Clallam counties) who has:
Led a successful resource conservation effort that benefits the north Olympic Peninsula and its residents directly;
Acted as a community catalyst for programs, initiatives or ventures that demonstrate a commitment to the future of the earth and its biodiversity;
Become a model for future leaders in business and education; or has been an exemplary citizen or policy maker who has implemented decisions that, though they may entail risks, have helped our communities take the next step towards environmental sustainability.
Other nominees this year included Bob Campbell, Tim McNulty, Dr. Eloise Kailan, Ron Sikes and Dr. Schroeder. It was a very difficult decision for the nominating committee, as each of these individuals have been very successful in their careers here on the Peninsula. Nominations are allowed in subsequent years for any supporters of these nominees that wish to re-nominate.