Patrick Murphy recognized as the 2014 Audubon Champion of the Everglades

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For going “above and beyond” to protect South Florida water and wildlife, Congressman Patrick Murphy was recognized as the 2014 Audubon Champion of the Everglades.

The Jupiter Democrat received the award in a ceremony Friday before an audience of 300 activists in Stuart during the annual Audubon Assembly at the Hutchinson Island Marriott Resort & Marina. Murphy is the freshman representative of Florida’s 18th Congressional District, which covers much of the Treasure Coast.

Each year, Audubon selects a Champion of the Everglades for individuals committed to protecting the Everglades. Previous winners were Nathaniel Reed, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and Gov. Jeb Bush.

“Patrick Murphy has shown extraordinary leadership on behalf of the Everglades, the St. Lucie estuary, and the Indian River Lagoon,” said Audubon Florida executive director Eric Draper. “He has galvanized support in Congress for legislation to speed up the pace of constructing restoration projects that are so important to improving regional water resources.

“Murphy is a true champion.”

Projects championed in Murphy’s first term include the Central Everglades Planning Project, where he convened a summit of Congressional leadership and advocates for the St. Lucie River, and continuation of the Kissimmee River Restoration project.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.