FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Diana M. Hawkins or May 1, 1997 Vicki M. Boatwright AMERICAN SPORTFISHING ASSOCIATION NAMES CLOUGH 1997 "WOMAN OF THE YEAR"
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Director Noreen K. Clough has been named the American Sportfishing Association's 1997 Woman of the Year. The award recognizes Clough's vision and leadership in the development of a plan for managing the Region's fisheries and aquatic resources that incorporates family-friendly fishing opportunities, in response to President Clinton's Executive Order on Recreational Fisheries; and her advocacy for making fishing opportunities an important part of the Service's mission.
Executive Order 12962, signed June 7, 1995, directs federal agencies to work cooperatively with state and tribal governments to undertake activities that increase recreational fishing opportunities. It is estimated that more than 50 million Americans fish, and fishing ranks in the top five favorite activities for Americans. Recent demographics studies show that fishing enthusiasts nowadays are younger and more affluent, and are pumping billions into the U.S. economy to pursue their sport.
Clough will receive the award during National Fishing Week at a June 3, 1997, reception in Washington, D.C. This prestigious award annually singles out women and men who have made outstanding contributions to sportfishing in the United States.
A longtime fishing enthusiast and ardent advocate of sportfishing, Clough said that she considers the ASA award a great honor. "This award means more to me than any other kind of recognition that I could possibly have received, particularly since so much of my federal career has been dedicated to the conservation of aquatic resources. I love to fish and to get others involved in sportfishing, especially young people. Fishing restores the mind, body and spirit, and it's great fun at any age," Clough said.
Clough first joined the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1978, and assumed her present position as Southeast Regional Director on April 9, 1995. From the Region's headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, she directs the Service's fish, wildlife and habitat conservation, protection and enhancement activities in 10 southeastern states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. She brings to her role as Regional Director a wealth of natural resource management experience, including fisheries and aquatic resource management.
As Regional Director, Clough oversees the activities of 115 national wildlife refuges totalling more than 3 million acres; 15 national fish hatcheries; 7 fishery resource offices; 1 fish technology center; 1 fish health laboratory; 15 ecological services offices; and 30 law enforcement offices.
Earlier in her career, Clough served in Washington, D.C., as Deputy Assistant Director for Fisheries. During this time, she was active in the development of Pathway to Fishing, a program created through a federal-private sector collaboration among the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, Berkley, and In-Fisherman. The program is highly successful in introducing children to sportfishing and to understanding the value of aquatic resources. She also led the effort to develop in cooperation with B.A.S.S., the "Guide to Fishing on National Wildlife Refuges." This highly popular publication directs anglers to fishing opportunities on approximately half of the more than 500 national wildlife refuges across the Nation.
As Deputy Assistant Director, she also led the Service's effort to develop a National Action Plan for Fishery Resources that has served as the blueprint for a regional strategic plan that is nearing completion. The Southeast Region's Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Strategic Plan, soon to be released to the public, identifies specific goals and objectives that the Service will accomplish, in cooperation with state and federal partners, to restore and enhance fisheries and aquatic habitats.
From June 1994 to February 1995, Clough served as Acting Deputy Director - External Affairs, in Washington, D.C., where she was responsible for administering, among other activities, the Federal Aid to States program. Carried out under four laws -- the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, Clean Vessel Act, and Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act -- the program provides federal grant money to states and territories to support specific fish, wildlife, and environmental conservation projects that promote hunting, fishing, and habitat conservation opportunities. The Sport Fish Restoration Act, Clean Vessel Act, and Coastal Wetlands Act will provide more than $56 million for projects in the Southeast Region alone in fiscal year 1997 from excise taxes collected on fishing tackle and equipment, motorboat fuels, small engine fuels, import duties on fishing tackle and pleasure boats. According to Clough, these Acts have remained one of America's most effective, yet quietest, success stories in aquatic resource conservation by providing improved fishing opportunities, boating access, cleaner water, and protection of valuable coastal wetlands.
Clough serves as an ex-officio board member of The Future Fisherman Foundation and is a member of ASA's Education Committee. She is a strong supporter of the "Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs" drug prevention program developed by The Future Fisherman Foundation, the Service, the Aquatic Resource Education Council, ASA, and several state fish and wildlife agencies. The program is aimed at getting children excited about a positive alternative activity that they can enjoy for a lifetime, while teaching them to be ethical anglers and stewards of the aquatic environment.
Among other recent recognition she's received, Clough was selected as the 1994 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honoree for the Sheldon Coleman Great Outdoors Award; and she was awarded the 1987 Meritorious Service Award, the second highest honor award bestowed by the Department of the Interior.
Clough holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland University College and has a master's degree in environmental biology from George Mason University in Virginia. She has been married for 32 years. She and her husband, Dave, enjoy travelling in their motorhome and fishing. She fishes for bream in freshwater, and for trout and redfish in saltwater. Her dream fishing trip, she says, is to go bonefishing in Florida Bay.
Other ASA award winners for 1997 include Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has been named 1997 Man of the Year, and Maryland author and fly fisherman, Lefty Kreh, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
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1997 News Releases