Congressman Ed Markey honored during Great Outdoors America Week

Award given for work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and being a leader on climate change

WASHINGTON (July 17, 2012) – Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey (D, MA-7) was honored as one of America’s Great Outdoors Congressional Champions during Great Outdoors America Week or GO America Week (June 26-June 28, 2012 in Washington DC).

The Wilderness Society and other partners recognized Congressman Markey for working to protect America’s wild places and green spaces that are critical in reconnecting people to the great outdoors.

Since his election in 1975, Congressman Markey has championed conservation and clean energy, serving on both the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  He also recently chaired the Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming, which was charged with addressing climate change issues and strategies for gaining energy independence and exploring alternative fuels options.  In this capacity, Representative Markey successfully sponsored the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act, which passed in the House of Representatives.  ?
As the Natural Resources Committee's ranking member, Representative Markey has been an avid steward for wild places and public lands.  He has been a great advocate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and sponsored the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (S.33/H.R. 139) in the House.  The bill would designate the Refuge's coastal plain as Wilderness, ensuring its permanent protection from harmful human development.

“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most pristine and wild landscapes in the nation,” Congressman Markey said.  “It is far too precious to be squandered for short term gains. It is due to people like the GO America Week participants that have kept it protected for all these years.”

 In the heart of Great Outdoors Month, GO America Week brought outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life -- high school students and adults, active members of the military and veterans, conservationists and business leaders, hunters and anglers, bikers and boaters -- together to celebrate America’s great outdoors, and ask their elected officials to protect our natural heritage. 

“Congressman Markey’s commitment to protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is legendary,” said David Moulton, senior legislative director at The Wilderness Society. “He was also instrumental in trying to protect the entire planet from the ravages of climate change by being the lead sponsor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act.”

Great Outdoors America Week offered an opportunity for advocates to take direct action on a number of conservation issues, ranging from wilderness and national monument protection to reconnecting inner-city kids to the great outdoors. Great Outdoors America Week serves as another example of the long-standing, bipartisan tradition of conservation in the United States.