**NEWS FROM WCS**
CONTACT: MARY DIXON: (1-347-840-1242; firstname.lastname@example.org)
STEPHEN SAUTNER: (1-718-220-3682; email@example.com
WCS Scientist Honored by Queen Elizabeth II
NEW YORK (January 8, 2016) – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has appointed WCS’s Janet Gibson as a member to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her contribution to environmental protection. Each year Queen Elizabeth II honors citizens of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for various achievements and service.
Gibson, who retired from WCS at the end of 2015, has been a strong force for marine conservation in Belize for over three decades. She worked with WCS first in early 1980s to support the creation of Hol Chan marine reserve, helped to build Belize’s office of Coastal Zone Management, and supported the unprecedented expansion of Belize’s Marine Reserve system. She was part of the first class in 1990 of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her early efforts to conserve the Meso-American Reef.
While at WCS in her recent years, the program in Belize under Gibson’s leadership has focused on marine protected area management and sustainable fisheries. The program is currently endeavoring to secure 10 percent of Belize’s territorial sea as a no-take zone.
WCS works in all the world’s oceans and seeks to safeguard 90 percent of global coral species, reverse the decline of sharks and rays, and steward the recovery of marine mammals. WCS seeks to rebuild local fisheries by ending overfishing of fragile coastal ecosystems and supporting measures that triple the available fish biomass, and to expand marine protected areas to cover 10 percent of the world's oceans.
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.