The Center for Coastal Conservation has presented U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) with its Conservationist of the Year Award, which annually goes to a public official for work in support of good stewardship of America’s marine resources.

“David Vitter is a hero for anglers across the country,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “His leadership on marine conservation issues has ensured better stewardship of America’s coastal resources.”

In accepting the award at the Center’s annual conference in Washington on April 24, the senator emphasized conservation of the nation’s natural resources as a top priority.

“Making sure our fisheries are properly managed will remain a priority, along with restoring the Gulf Coast,” Vitter said. “I live in the ‘Sportsman’s Paradise,’ so it’s natural to support our close-knit relationship with marine resources.”

Vitter is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He also serves on the Armed Services, Banking and Small Business committees.

Recent recipients of the Center’s Conservationist of the Year award include Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-Guam) in 2009; Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) in 2010, and Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) in 2011.

“Senator Vitter’s broad, visionary leadership on marine conservation issues has helped move the RESTORE Act; has advanced ideas to address arbitrary Annual Catch Limits by NOAA Fisheries, and has gotten us closer to finding the elusive solution to the Idle Iron issue, among other conservation efforts,” said Angers. “We’re truly pleased to recognize Senator Vitter as the 2012 Conservationist of the Year.”

The Center for Coastal Conservation brings under a single umbrella the leading advocates for marine recreational fishing and boating. The organization promotes sound conservation and use of ocean resources by backing federal legislators who support its goals. For more information, visit www.CoastalConservation.US.

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