LINCOLN, Neb. – Ted LaGrange, wetlands program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, is the 2020 recipient of the ELI National Wetlands Award for Wetlands Program Development.
The National Wetlands Awards Program, administered by the Environmental Law Institute, has honored more than 200 wetland champions since its establishment in 1989. The program honors individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the conservation and restoration of our nation’s wetlands.
The Wetlands Program Development award is given to a state, local or tribal authority that has developed and administered an outstanding wetland program.
LaGrange has served as Game and Parks’ wetland program manager for more than 25 years. He coordinates Nebraska’s statewide wetland program, including implementing wetland research, restoration, acquisition, regulation, management, and outreach programs, and works closely with more than 30 partner agencies and organizations.
Over the years, LaGrange has written and administered numerous grants that have totaled more than $13 million. He was the first in the nation to write a Wetland Program Plan and receive approval for EPA’s Enhancing State and Tribal Program. He has received more than 22 Wetland Program Development Grants.
“The accomplishments mentioned in the nomination were not things that I did alone, but instead were accomplished by working collaboratively with numerous people and partnerships over many years,” LaGrange said. “It would not have been possible without the support of Game and Parks as well as all of the great people who work here.”
As a result of 40 years of wetland and ecological protection service, LaGrange has protected and restored more than 100,000 acres of wetlands and educated a legion of individuals along the way.