Our friend and colleague, the late Ken McDermond, was recognized recently as the individual recipient of the 2016 Department of the Interior’s Environmental Achievement Award – Climate Champion. Ken was Coordinator of the South Atlantic LCC from its formation in 2009 until his passing in January 2015.
The Department of the Interior’s Environmental Achievement Awards recognize departmental employees who attain exceptional achievements under the executive order relating to sustainability and climate change adaptation in federal departments. The individual category recognizes those singular champions who demonstrate consistent leadership focusing on sustainable practices in support of climate change goals. As LCC Coordinator, Ken led the South Atlantic LCC partnership and staff to develop the South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint, a collaborative, iterative, science-driven strategy to identify areas for an ecologically-connected network to support fish, wildlife and plants in a changing climate. He was committed to addressing climate adaptation through conservation design as part of the LCC’s core mission, and worked tirelessly to build consensus across the network of 22 independent self-directed LCCs. Ken is missed by all who knew him or were affected by his pioneering work and it is fitting that his efforts continue to receive appropriate recognition.