PALMETTO BAY, FL– On July 29, 2013, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz Balart, R-FL, paid tribute Monday to longtime Everglades advocate Mary Barley for her decades of work to protect and restore America’s Everglades.
Diaz Balart presented Barley with a copy of the Congressional Record where she is recognized as “an outstanding individual and someone who has continuously supported South Florida and the Everglades.”
In a ceremony at the Palmetto Bay offices of the Everglades Foundation, Diaz Balart said that by citing Barley’s work in the Congressional Record, “your life and what you have done will never be forgotten.”
Barley is one of the founders of the Everglades Foundation, a science based organization that works to find and advocate for solutions that will protect and restore America’s Everglades. Barley has served on the Foundation’s board as chairperson and vice-chairperson.
“Mary is a true champion of Everglades protection,” said Foundation Vice Chairman Carlos de la Cruz. “Her leadership of the Foundation continues to be an inspiration to all of us who care deeply about America’s Everglades.”
“I want to thank Congressman Diaz Balart for this honor,” said Barley, of Islamorada. “Much of the progress we have made in Everglades restoration has been because of leaders in Washington like him.”
Diaz Balart is co-chairman of the House Everglades Caucus. He was joined at the ceremony by Everglades Foundation board members Carlos de la Cruz and David Lawrence.
Below is the text from the Congressional Record:
HONORING MS. MARY BARLEY
HON. MARIO DIAZ-BALART
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Monday, March 25, 2013
Mr. DIAZ-BALART. Mr. Speaker, in recognition of Women’s History Month I rise today to honor Ms. Mary Barley, an outstanding individual and someone who has continuously supported South Florida and the Everglades.
Ms. Barley relocated to Florida in 1971 from Wisconsin. Shortly after arriving in our state she became an advocate for the Everglades and Florida Bay. Along with her husband George, who passed away in 1995, Ms. Barley spearheaded campaigns to build awareness around the Everglades and headed initiatives aimed at amending Florida’s constitution to include the protection of it.
Ms. Barley has served as Chairperson and/or Vice Chairman of the Everglades Foundation since her husband’s untimely death in 1995, and currently sits on its Board. She also holds the position of President of the Everglades Trust, and serves on the National Parks Conservation Association’s Board of Trustees. She is a Board member of the World Wildlife Fund Marine Leadership Committee, and its National Council; the National Coalition for Marine Conservation; the Atlantic Salmon Federation; and the Sierra Club Foundation.
With her instrumental support Florida passed the Restoring the Everglades, An American Legacy Act, a bill which authorized $8 billion towards the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Ms. Barley, has consistently been recognized for her achievements and has received awards such as Audubon of Florida’s “Lifetime Achievement Award,” as well as its “Champion of the Everglades Award.” Other awards include the Everglades Coalition’s “Steward of the Everglades” award, and she was named a 1999 “Hero for the Planet” by Time.
Mr. Speaker, I am honored to pay tribute to Ms. Mary Barley for her continued service to South Florida and I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing this remarkable individual.
About the Everglades Foundation
The Everglades Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s Everglades. For more information please visit evergladesfoundation.org