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Recognizing Ambassadors of Our Pascagoula River

There are few things as satisfying as recognizing people for good work. This was the idea behind the establishment of the Pascagoula River Basin Ambassador Awards by the Pascagoula River Basin Alliance. The Alliance is a coalition of state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and private groups and people, all focused on celebrating and promoting what is widely recognized as one of the last, large, free-flowing river systems in the U.S.

The Ambassador Awards program is certainly one way to promote this special place by recognizing individuals, groups and businesses whose activities have made a difference in the river basin: the brainchild of current Alliance Chairman, Mike Murphy. As Mike said, “We need to recognize good people for good work that makes a difference.” As designed, work in the areas of land conservation, outreach and education, conservation actions, and publicity and promotion are the basis of recognition. The Alliance is especially excited about the two inaugural recipients of this award: Dr. Thomas Singley of Moss Point and Becky Stowe, Director of Forest Programs for the Nature Conservancy.

Tom Singley has been a tireless advocate for the Pascagoula River for over 35 years. His legacy of conservation actions includes multiple efforts to acquire, promote, educate and conserve elements of the river that he loves. From the formation of the Save the Pascagoula River, Inc. and the Pascagoula River Basin Alliance to supporting numerous environmental organizations, to the placement of “Bayou Signs” on the river itself, Tom has embraced every opportunity to get on the river and do something that makes a difference. Few people have had such a broad and sustained impact on conservation of the Pascagoula River.

Becky Stowe, working through the Nature Conservancy and in cooperation with state and federal agencies has been responsible for conserving and restoring thousands of acres of prime habitat in the river basin, lands now managed by agencies such as the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the Nature Conservancy, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the Mississippi Forestry Commission. Much of this preserved land is open for outdoor recreation. A native daughter of the watershed, she has been a tireless advocate for the river, its habitat and its wildlife.

Recipients will receive a commissioned Pascagoula River themed fine art print from local artist Ruth Kimbrough and a $200 donation to be made to a conservation organization of their choice. Tom’s contribution will benefit the efforts of the Moss Point Community Development Fund. Becky’s contribution will support the Lucedale Depot Creek Greenway.

Please help the Alliance congratulate these two fine individuals for what amounts to a legacy of conservation actions, that continues today.

Information about the Pascagoula River Basin Alliance is available at


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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