16th August 2012, 16:12
NOAA appoints new director of Habitat Conservation
FREDERICK "Buck" Sutter has been appointed as the NOAA’s Director of Habitat Conservation, following a recent career that has focused largely on the Gulf of Mexico.
Prior to the appointment he has represented NOAA as Deputy Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, advocated habitat restoration and conservation as the primary focus of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Strategy and led NOAA’s Regional Functional Team as part of the agency’s tactical response to the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Sam Rauch, Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Regulatory Programs, welcomed Sutter, who begins his role on August 26, and he also thanked Sutter’s predecessor, Brian Pawlak, “for his excellent work serving as the Acting Director since last October” and Jennifer Lukens “for her service as the Acting Deputy Director. While on her detail from the National Ocean Service, she stepped into this challenging role and hit the ground running. She will work closely with Buck and Brian during the transition period.
“Buck brings an array of management experience to his new position where he will oversee the implementation of the NOAA Habitat Blueprint and the Regional Initiatives for Fisheries, as well as managing our programs on fish passage, essential fish habitat protection, coral conservation, Restoration Center initiatives and Chesapeake Bay activities.
“During the past five years, Buck has had responsibility for leading NOAA’s diverse missions related to the Gulf of Mexico. In that role, he represented NOAA on the interagency Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, serving as the Deputy Executive Director with the responsibility for the technical and science components of the overall strategy. He strongly advocated for habitat restoration and conservation as the primary focus of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Strategy, working in close collaboration with the 11 federal and five state members of the Task Force.
“He also led NOAA’s Regional Functional Team as part of the agency’s tactical response to the Deepwater Horizon spill where he worked directly with NOAA leadership to coordinate and implement our regional actions in response to the spill.
“He was the NOAA Regional Collaboration Team Leader since its inception in October 2006, working collaboratively with all NOAA Line Offices to support integrated, regionally-tailored implementation of NOAA-wide programmatic priorities and to provide a more systematic approach to both internal and external communications in the Gulf of Mexico. He led the regional team in building powerful partnerships with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and with Sea Grant, with a strong focus on habitat conservation and community resiliency engagement.”