At the Florida Wildlife Federation’s 79th Annual Conservation Awards Banquet to be held June 25, 2016, at the Courtyard Marriott Riverfront Hotel in Bradenton, ten outstanding Florida conservationists will be recognized for their conservation achievements.  Conservation award winners are chosen from nominations made to the Federation’s board of directors based on their accomplishments on behalf of Florida’s fish, wildlife and native habitats.  Paula Dockery will receive the Conservation Communicator of the Year Award for 2016.

Florida State Senator Paula Dockery, a University of Florida graduate, was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1996 from Polk County.  Following one term in office, and owing to her skill at gaining consensus amongst sometimes fractious parties, she was chosen to chair the Environmental Protection Committee. In 1999, she authored the Florida Forever initiative as a successor to the highly successful Preservation 2000 program. She also played a critical part in the debate over water allocation, concentrating not only on equitable distribution amongst agriculture, domestic use and the environment, but on increasing alternative water sources.

Elected to the Florida Senate in 2003, Senator Dockery continued as a leader on environmental issues, even when members from her own party stood in opposition. She has never lost her commitment to water conservation issues and her steadfast determination to keep conservation programs alive.

Since leaving the Legislature in 2012, Paula has devoted herself to informing Floridians about that is happening as to our state government in her very well-received blog, Political Ponderings-One Woman’s Opinion. With reasoned observations about a multitude of important policy positions taken by our elected leaders in the Legislature, Paula has spoken to the dangers of fracking, threats to our state’s once iconic Government in the Sunshine law, the proposed misuse of our award-winning state parks, and the importance of the approaching Constitutional Revision Commission.  She has also bemoaned the lack of accountability of some legislators to their constituents and the state as a whole.

For her dedication to educating Floridians about issues critical to the future of our state, especially about topics concerning our fragile environment, the Federation is proud to recognize Paula Dockery as the Conservation Communicator of the Year for 2016.