The National Wildlife Refuge Association and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have honored three individuals and a Friends group with 2013 National Wildlife Refuge System awards.


Andrew C. French received the Paul Kroegel Refuge Manager of the Year Award.


French was cited for innovation and leadership that resulted in the designation of the Connecticut River watershed as the first national blueway. As the manager at Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge and Stewart B. McKinney and John Hay National Wildlife Refuges, French has demonstrated that the three refuges, spread across a 400–mile area of New England, are assets in their communities and the watershed. During his 33–year U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service career, French has had great success in fostering landscape level conservation, environmental education efforts and recreation partnerships.