Dr. Mamie Parker Receives Champions of the Chesapeake Award

Chesapeake Conservancy Honors Inspirational Speaker and Retired Assistant Director of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Annapolis, MD – Last night, United States Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe joined the Chesapeake Conservancy to present Dr. Mamie Parker, retired Assistant Director of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with a Champions of the Chesapeake award.  Dr. Parker earns the Individual Champion Award this year for her urban speaker series, the Mamie Parker Journey: Inspiring Youth to Embrace the Chesapeake. Dr. Parker is a well-known fish and wildlife biologist and distinguished inspirational speaker.

Through the Mamie Parker Journey, Dr. Parker presented to more than 450 students in Baltimore city, sharing her own life experience to show students how the outdoors and conservation have helped her overcome numerous obstacles in her life. Many of the students from her 2015 series wrote letters to Dr. Parker, thanking her for her inspiring words and life story.

“Dr. Parker is a pioneer in the field of conservation,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said, “she has continued her important work after her career with the USFWS by sharing her story with hundreds of students in the City of Baltimore, encouraging them to experience the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Her inspirational presentations offered insight into careers in conservation, inspiring the next generation of conservationists and engaging urban youth to explore the Chesapeake. Mamie inspires us all with her passion and dedication to the natural world.”

“What an honor it is to receive a Champion of the Chesapeake Award,” Dr. Parker said. “To be recognized at this level for something that I care so very deeply about is very special. I’ve enjoyed meeting with so many students and sharing my journey with them. The recent protests in Baltimore have inspired me to work harder. I want these students to know what doors can open for them, as many did for me, right in their backyard of the Chesapeake.”

Dr. Parker is a former Assistant Director of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  With over 28 years of experience as a fisheries biologist, Dr. Parker is the first Black woman to serve as a Regional Director for USFWS, managing the 13-state Northeast region.

Dr. Parker serves on the Board of Directors for the Chesapeake Conservancy, the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership Steering Committee.

The 2015 Champions of the Chesapeake Awards dinner took place on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Governor Calvert House in Annapolis, Md. Recipients of the Champions of the Chesapeake award also included Director of the National Park Service, Jonathan Jarvis, for public service, and Esri for their corporate support of conservation efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


The Chesapeake Conservancy’s mission is to strengthen the connection between people and the watershed; conserve the landscapes and special places that sustain the Chesapeake’s unique natural and cultural resources; and restore landscapes, rivers, and habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region.

For more information, please visit www.chesapeakeconservancy.org