Bandon Western World Article by Steve McCasland

The city and port of Bandon have been jointly selected to receive the 2010 Walter B. Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Government.

The agencies were notified of the honor in a May 14 e-mail from David M. Kennedy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s acting assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management.

Kennedy’s e-mail referred to “the importance of your work to protect and to preserve coastal resources.”

“NOAA is pleased to honor American people and organizations for outstanding contributions in helping the nation maintain healthy coastal and ocean resources,” Kennedy’s e-mail said.

Responding on behalf of the city, Mayor Mary Schamehorn said, “It is truly an honor for the City of Bandon and the Port of Bandon to have been selected to receive the 2010 Walter B. Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Government. The award letter said we were chosen from an ‘impressive field of nominees whose dedication and hard work epitomize coastal stewardship.’ It's nice to know that our joint efforts at beautifying both the waterfront and Old Town have been recognized, as well as our efforts in helping maintain healthy coastal and ocean resources.”

Port General Manager Gina Dearth said, “This award is for all port commissioners and staff, past and present, that have worked over the last couple of decades to transform what was once home to the commercial salmon fleet and lumber mills into a beautiful, family oriented, recreation destination. Partnered with the city and Urban Renewal dollars, it has been a team effort and we are happy to share in this recognition.” The NOAA awards program is held every other year. Representatives from this year’s winning agencies are invited to an awards ceremony on June 10 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Members of Congress, the NOAA administrator and members of the coastal community are invited. This year’s ceremony coincides with Capitol Hill Ocean Week.

Schamehorn appointed Councilor Mike Claassen to represent the city at the awards ceremony, while Port Commissioner Rick Goche will attend on behalf of the port. NOAA is paying for travel and lodging costs.

While he is in Washington, D.C., Councilor Claassen also hopes to meet with Oregon senators, representatives and other federal officials on behalf of the city of Bandon.

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