Call for Nominations: ESA Regional Policy Award

Do you know someone who has made positive efforts toward environmental sustainability in the Long Beach, California region? ESA seeks nominations for its annual Regional Policy Award to recognize a local or regional policymaker who has integrated environmental science and policy in initiatives that foster more sustainable communities.

ESA has honored past award recipients for policy work that included:

  • wildlife conservation
  • green urban renewal initiatives
  • stream, river & lake restoration

ESA’s 2024 Annual Meeting will take place in Long Beach, California. The annual Regional Policy Award honors policymakers from the region in which the Society holds its conference that year. Nominees should be from the Long Beach area and likely to accept the award in person at the Society’s Opening Plenary.

Award Criteria

Candidates to receive the Policy Award must be a current or recently former elected or appointed official located in the city, state or region where the ESA Annual Meeting is held that particular year and must meet at least 3 out of the 5 criteria below:

  1. Has a proven track record of applying ecological science to their decision-making;
  2. Seeks the best available science when making environmental policy decisions;
  3. Demonstrates a commitment to communicating ecological understanding to the general public;
  4. Demonstrates a commitment to enhancing communication between policymakers and the ecological community; and
  5. Strives to involve the local community in his or her environmental policy initiatives (e.g. implement volunteering programs, outreach efforts, or education programs related to environmental policies).

Whenever possible, the nominations process should address the following:

  • Does the candidate have a science advisor or consult with scientists?
  • Does the nominee refer to scientific resources, such as peer-reviewed studies, etc.?
  • How would awarding this nominee be received at the local/regional level?
  • What are specific activities that this individual has accomplished informed by ecological science?
  • Is the nominee likely to appear in person to accept the award (currently set for 5 PM on Sunday, August 4, 2024)

Send nominations and direct inquiries to Alison Mize, Director of Public Affairs,, by May 1, 2024.

Former ESA Regional Policy Award Winners:

2023 Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon

Eric Quaempts, Director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s Department of Natural Resources, was recognized for relating the culture of the CTUIR to the ecology of the Columbia Basin landscape and promoting understanding of the Tribe’s culture, natural resource restoration goals and Treaty Rights. Of note is the application of the model approach focusing on to the reciprocity between people and the “First Foods.”

2022 Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada

Senator Rosa Galvez was recognized for her work in Parliament to introduce a Motion in the Senate of Canada to declare a national climate emergency and pursue efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

2021 Virtual Annual Meeting (originally planned for Long Beach, California)

Wade Crowfoot, California Secretary for Natural Resources, was recognized for his commitment to using science in creating nature-based solutions for building water and climate resilience across California.

2020 Virtual Annual Meeting (originally planned for Salt Lake City, Utah)

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall was recognized for her life-long commitment to science-based advocacy for clean air.

2019 Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky

Congressman John Yarmuth, U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district, was recognized for his commitment to environmental stewardship, science-based environmental protection and natural resource management.

2018 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana

Representative Walter “Walt” J. Leger III, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Louisiana House of Representatives and the representative for New Orleans’ District 91, was recognized for his support of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, which provides a comprehensive, long-term approach to meet challenges of the Gulf Coast of Mexico.

2017 Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, U.S. representative for Oregon’s 1st congressional district, was recognized for her advocacy for science and her stellar record of supporting STEM.

2016 Fort Lauderdale Annual Meeting

Shannon Estenoz, Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Interior, was recognized for her work to protect and restore the Florida Everglades.

2015 Baltimore Annual Meeting

Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Senator from Maryland, was recognized for his leadership on clean water policy.

2014 ESA Sacramento Annual Meeting

Senator Darrell Steinberg, President Pro Tempore of the California Senate, was recognized for his leadership on environmental legislation.

2012 ESA Portland Annual Meeting

Ken Bierly, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, was recognized for pioneering initiatives to conserve Oregon’s streams and rivers.

2011 ESA Austin Annual Meeting

Karen Hixon, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, was recognized for supporting regional land and wildlife conservation.

2010 ESA Pittsburgh Annual Meeting

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman was recognized for his leadership in green urban renewal.

2009 ESA Albuquerque Annual Meeting

Senator Tom Udall, U.S. Senator from New Mexico and previously U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s 3rd congressional district, was recognized for his leadership on public land issues (during his tenure as a New Mexico Representative).

2008 ESA Milwaukee Annual Meeting

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle was recognized for his Great Lakes initiatives.