Nomination statement for Vince Lamb, recipient of the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society's 2016 Citizen Conservation Award:
Vince Lamb, a nature photographer and Florida Master Naturalist, has lived on Merritt Island since 1973. Since 2007, he has been closely associated with the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and currently serves as vice-chairman of an advisory committee for this organization. Vince rallied public support that led to the purchase of 1,800 acres of conservation land by Brevard County.
Vince serves as chairman of Preserve Brevard, Inc., a non-profit that he helped found that provides support and educational events for conservation lands. In 2014, Preserve Brevard hosted an educational event featuring Amendment 1 with Sen. Bob Graham as the keynote speaker. Approximately 500 people attended this event at Florida Tech. Preserve Brevard serves as the host for the Charlie Corbeil Conservation Awards honoring a conservationist who passed on in 2013. The third annual event will be held in April 2016 when the contributions of carefully chosen local conservationists will be recognized.
He recently completed a two-year term as chairman of the Florida Wildflower Foundation. The organization enriches lives with Florida native wildflowers through education, planting and research projects. The Foundation has embraced the critically important role of native wildflowers in the survival of pollinators including many species of butterflies.
Since 2007, Vince has served as a volunteer for nesting sea turtle walks under permits from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Visitors are carefully guided to observe a nesting Loggerhead Turtle depositing her eggs on a beach, a memorable experience for many people. During the peak nesting months of June and July, Vince spends three nights each week with the turtle walks.
He serves as a board member and treasurer of the Friends of the Carr Refuge, a non-profit formed to assist this National Wildlife Refuge, which has become one of the most important sea turtle nesting beaches in the United States. This Refuge is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016 after a record year with 28,333 nests counted last year.
Vince volunteers for wildlife monitoring programs including the Jay Watch program conducted by Florida Audubon. Each summer, he volunteers seven to nine days at three or four properties. He has spent many days as a volunteer with the Brevard Zoo and their Florida Scrub-Jay translocation projects. Vince leads public tours to observe and learn about scrub-jays at the Cruickshank Wildlife Sanctuary in Rockledge. He has also volunteered for wildlife monitoring programs involving Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers, Gulf Sturgeon and West Indian Manatees.
He attended training at the Aldo Leopold Foundation to earn certification as a Leopold Land Ethic Leader. Vince embraces the concepts of the Sand County Almanac and has led discussion groups on Leopold’s writings. He believes that the greatest contribution that he can make to the conservation effort is to help connect people with nature through memorable outdoor experiences like photography sessions, paddling trips, hikes and horseback rides.
"For most of the wild things on earth the future must depend upon the conscience of mankind."