Six conservation heroes reel in prestigious ‘Charlies’


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The fourth annual Charlie Corbeil Conservation Awards will celebrate the accomplishments of five impressive conservation leaders from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 13 at the Heritage Isle Clubhouse Ballroom in Viera.

Corbeil, who died unexpectedly in late 2013, was popular in the conservation community. He held a certification as a Florida Master Naturalist and his nature photography is displayed all over the world. He was one of the original “Wetlands Rangers” at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Viera Wetlands. He helped many young photographers hone their skills in wildlife photography. 

A new category this year will feature a youth conservationist.

Corbeil and his wife, Charlotte, wrote a popular wildlife column for the Viera Voice. Charlotte Corbeil has continued writing the column since her husband’s death. For tickets to the awards banquet, go to thecharlieawards.org.

The 2017 Charlie Award recipients are:

1. Anne Birch – Marine Conservation director of The Nature Conservancy, served the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

2. Dr. Dave Breininger – Lead wildlife biologist of NASA’s ecological programs at Kennedy Space Center.

3. Sammy Lee McGee – Park biologist, St. Sebastian River Preserve
State Park.

4. Jim Waymer – Environmental reporter for Florida Today.

5. Diane Barile – Founding executive director, Marine Resources Council.

6. Delaney Farrell (Youth Award Recipient) – High school student. Founder of Fin-formation, shark conservation speaker.

7. Justin Cole (Youth Award Recipient) – Fifth grade student at Quest Elementary. Created the Suntree Roots and Shoots Chapter to help animals, the environment and people.