Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

May 4, 2007

Outer Banks Chamber's Angie Brady-Daniels and Sue Carroll Receive USFWS Regional Director's Conservation Awards

Photo credit: USFWS Tom Mackenzie
Angie Brady-Daniels (left) and Sue Carroll (center) receive USFWS Regional Director's Conservation Awards from Southeast Regional Director Sam Hamilton (right) for their partnering with Eastern North Carolina national wildlife refuges to plan Wings Over Water Festival. For more information on this annual wildlife event, visit www.wingsoverwater.org

Atlanta, Ga. - Angie Brady-Daniels and Sue Carroll, both employees of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, have received Conservation Awards for their efforts in helping develop, staff and promote the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival.

Sam Hamilton, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) regional director, presented the awards during a ceremony held in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 1.

Hamilton praised Brady-Daniels, Carroll and the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce for their "outstanding partnership with the Fish and Wildlife Service in eastern North Carolina and their exceptional advocacy in the community on behalf of national wildlife refuges."

This recognition was a part of the Regional Director's Honor Awards Ceremony held each year to honor superior volunteers, employees and partner organizations and individuals for their help and support of the USFWS in the Southeast Region.

Bonnie Strawser, interpretive specialist for Alligator River and Pea Island refuges, said, "I can't say enough about the value of having these two ladies as partners for our outreach efforts and as advocates for refuges. The Chamber of Commerce has expertise in so many areas where we are lacking. Having them as partners allows us to focus on what we do best - managing for wildlife and providing ways for people to experience wildlife and wildlands. We want to be good neighbors to the local communities, but sometimes we really don't know how. The Chamber is an excellent bridge for us to meet and work with local businesses and organizations.

"The partnership between the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and national wildlife refuges in Eastern North Carolina began more than ten years ago with the first Wings Over Water festival," said Strawser. "And, now, we hardly begin anything without running it by the Chamber for ideas. They have their fingers on the pulse of the community. If it's significant and it's happening on the Outer Banks, most often, the Chamber has some sort of involvement."

Brady-Daniels and Carroll were among 15 conservation award recipients at the event, including North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's Joe Fuller, who received an award for his work with the wood duck banding program.

The Brady-Daniels/Carroll nomination stated, "Since the first Wings Over Water Celebration in 1997, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce has been a major partner with the USFWS in eastern North Carolina, both in WOW and as a community advocate for national wildlife refuges. Two key staff, Angie Brady-Daniels (Vice President for Public Relations) and Sue Carroll (Girl-Friday/Administrative Assistant), have set themselves apart as friends and advocates of Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges.' Their love of and appreciation for national wildlife refuges is well-known in eastern North Carolina.

In the 10 years since WOW has begun, the Chamber has registered more than 2500 participants with full, complicated schedules for the six-day festival. They have handled more than $150,000 in the process. And, we have yet to hear of a single dissatisfied customer. Having the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce as a partner and advocate for refuges has had a major impact on relationships between USFWS and the community - and it's all due to the hard work and great attitudes of these two Chamber employees."

Brady-Daniels said, "Sue and I are extremely honored to receive this award – not because we feel deserving of the recognition because we certainly do not. We are, however, extremely proud of the relationship that this award represents between our agencies.

We know that there will always be issues where we will struggle to find the balance between government and business. Co-sponsoring an event such as Wings Over Water has taught us to bring our different goals and opinions together to create a wonderful event for our area. The result is an event that showcases the community and brings off-season visitors to the area without harming or disrupting the things that make the area so attractive."

The 2007 Wings Over Water is scheduled for November 6-11. For information or to register, visit www.wingsoverwater.org or call the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce at 252-441-8144.