Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Army Honors Chesapeake Bay Biologist
Northeast Region, June 25, 2007
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Craig holding eaglet; photo by Randy Loftus, USFWS-CBFO
Craig holding eaglet; photo by Randy Loftus, USFWS-CBFO - Photo Credit: n/a

Craig Koppie, endangered species biologist at the Chesapeake Bay Field Office in Annapolis, Md. has received a Department of the Army Commander's Award for Civilian Service for protecting bald eagles at the Army research laboratory Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. This honor is especially unique in that the Commander's Award is traditionally presented to Army employees.


APG's 72,000 acres - half land and half water - are home to the largest bald eagle population in the northern Chesapeake Bay with an average winter count of 180 eagles.  Nearly 70 organizations conduct research, development, testing and evaluation at APG.


During 2001 and 2002, resident bald eagles as well as eagles migrating south from New York and New England and north from Florida were dying from contact with electric and communication lines at APG. Complicating matters were increasing Department of Defense activities at APG as the country prepared for war.


Koppie, with APG staff and an APG tenant organization, devised plans to mark and insulate lines, and divert eagles by installing flappers on the lines (reflectors that dangle from the wires).


Other measures included helping to secure funds for the burial of some lines, recommending alternatives to war training exercises that might impact eagles, placement of cameras at selected nest sites, and revision of the Army APG Bald Eagle Management Plan.


 Koppie's work protected bald eagles at APG without interrupting Defense missions. The award cites his commitment to striking a balance between natural resources and natural defense, epitomizing the concept of public service.


Contact Info: Jennifer Lapis, (413) 253-8303, jennifer_lapis@fws.gov
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