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 18, 2009

Refuge Volunteers Honored; Marchand Named Volunteer of the Year for 2008

At the annual Refuge Volunteer Awards Ceremony on Saturday afternoon, refuge volunteers were treated to dinner and awards and thanks for all their contributions to these two national wildlife refuges in Dare County. Among numerous award presentations, Refuge Manager Mike Bryant recognized Ron Marchand as the 2008 Volunteer of the Year.

Bryant sang praises for all the volunteer accomplishments on Pea Island and Alligator River National Wildlife Refuges, "I appreciate all that you do. Without you, we would not have the refuges in the condition they're in, give the programs we give, manage the populations we manage, or present the image we present. You provide the energy, enthusiasm, and time that makes it all work. You have hearts for refuges, and refuges need you."

As a part of the celebration, Bryant updated the group on refuge projects and accomplishments. "We've had good years on both Alligator River and Pea Island refuges. Water control in Pea Island brought more wintering waterfowl. When drained this spring, impoundment mud flats were used by shorebirds."

And, Bryant is excited about the future. "Some 18 years ago, land on Roanoke Island was purchased for a visitor center for both refuges and office space for staff. Recovery funding of $6.65 million is now in hand to build that center. And six refuges under my management will receive $540,000 for a variety of projects, including creating rock fords across streams and restoring saturated soil hydrology."

Volunteers receive certificates when 100 hours of donated time is accumulated and then pins for 250, 500 1,000, 1,500, 3,000 and 7,500 hours of accumulated volunteer service in the national refuge system. Awards are for cumulative hours, so some volunteers have been accumulating hours for more than 25 years.

Receiving certificates for reaching over 100 hours of volunteer time in 2008 were Bill Vancura, Rich Griffiths, Georgia Griffiths, Elizabeth Morey, Carol Bauer, Heather Demerest and Glenn Moore.

Receiving a 250-hour pin were Waverly Reibel, Gary Frable, Dian Frable, Hollie Warren, Karen Calloway, James Wilson, John Koltz, Carol Thompson, Russell Thompson and Ann Moore.

Pins for 500 hours of volunteer time were earned by Ron Scovell, Jay Ross, Lisa Borel, Diane Stone, Gene Stone, Lee Hamm, Pat New, Ward New, Calvin Wilson and Jess Sutt. Receiving pins for 250 and 500 hours were Janice Lane and Emily Martin.

Volunteers Laura Gilson, William Thompson, Bill Voegtli and Ken Wynne have all accumulated over 1,000 hours of volunteer time with the national refuge system

In the 1,500-hour volunteer category were Ron Marchand, the refuge volunteer of the year, and Neal Moore.

Pat Moore stood with over 3,000 donated hours to the refuge system and its programs.

At this awards dinner, Warren Davis was acknowledged for 7,500 hours of volunteer service to the national wildlife refuge system.

Ken Wynne was recognized as having the highest sales day at the Pea Island Visitor Center, and Ron Marchand was given the prestigious "2008 Volunteer of the Year" award.

Photo Credits: FWS-Bonnie Strawser.

Mike Bryant handing Ken Wynne a the plaque and shaking his hand
Refuge Volunteer Ken Wynne accepts award for "2008 Highest Sales Day" in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center gift shop operated by the refuge support group- the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society. Manager Mike Bryant (right) presented the award at the ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

Mike Bryant shaking Ron Marchand's hand and handing him the plaque.
Refuge Manager Mike Bryant (right) presents the "2008 Refuge Volunteer of the Year" to Ron Marchand. Also pictured are Abbey Reibel, Refuge Volunteer Coordinator (second from left) and Kris Fair (far left), sea turtle program leader for Pea Island. On Sundays, Marchand conducts early morning Pea Island turtle patrols, opens the Pea Island Visitor Center and leads a bird walk. Marchand, an accomplished photographer, also assists the refuge with maintenance and repairs, photography, "turtle watch", and other needs as they arise. Marchand has contributed 1,662 volunteer hours to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.