Left: Brandt Henningsen, senior environmental scientist, receives the Excellence in Restoration Award. Right: Rendering of the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve.
Brandt Henningsen, senior environmental scientist, has worked at the District for almost two decades restoring Tampa Bay habitat. Now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has recognized him for his dedication.
NOAA’s Restoration Center recently presented Henningsen with the Excellence in Restoration Award. NOAA created the award in 2005 to publicly recognize their partners who have achieved a level of excellence in their restoration efforts. Nominees must effectively collaborate with partners and NOAA, develop community support or a volunteer presence, and the restoration project must have ecological significance.
“Dr. Henningsen understands the power of partnerships and volunteer participation,” said Dr. Roy Crabtree, southwest regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries. “He has applied his strong background in coastal ecology to education initiatives with local nonprofit groups, civic organizations and schools.”
“Henningsen’s nomination recognizes not one, but many contributions he has made to NOAA resources,” said John Iliff, southeast regional supervisor for the NOAA Restoration Center.
Henningsen has been with the District’s Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program since 1987. Since then he has been involved with 33 of the 65 SWIM program habitat restoration projects completed. His projects resulted in the restoration of more than 830 acres of Tampa Bay habitat.
“I was very surprised and humbled to receive this award,” said Henningsen. “It should be shared with all the cooperative partners that helped make those 33 projects a reality.”
Henningsen is the project manager of the Terra Ceia Isles Habitat Restoration project, which is the largest habitat restoration project ever conducted within Tampa Bay. NOAA and the Pinellas County Environmental Fund have both contributed funding to the project.
The project is restoring approximately 1,800 acres of habitat in the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve and Terra Ceia Preserve State Park.
“This project takes coastal habitat restoration to the next level, and for that we are proud to say that Brandt has truly accomplished excellence in restoration,” said Crabtree.