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Copley brothers honored for donation

4/25/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of The University of Akron
AKRON — Copley brothers Steve and Jerry Panzner have been awarded one of the seven National Wetlands Awards — the Education and Outreach Award — for their donation of almost 105 acres of restored wetlands for wetlands education, research and outreach to The University of Akron (UA) in 2012. The award, given by the Environmental Law Institute, was announced April 16.

The Panzners, both UA alumni, describe the property as a “living laboratory” and are committed to promoting understanding and research of Ohio’s wetland environments, according to UA officials. The site has been used by UA students and faculty in integrated bioscience, biology, chemistry and other disciplines. Shown above are visitors at the UA Panzner Wildlife Wetland Reserve.

“We always believed in education when we first started,” said Steve Panzner. “It was one of the major components of our mission statement. Education is what keeps the wetlands functioning.”

The National Wetlands Awards program is administered by the Environmental Law Institute and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculgure Forest Service.

“Wetlands are part of the foundation of our nation’s water resources and are vital to the health of waterways and communities that are downstream,” said EPA acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner in a press release. “The extraordinary actions of National Wetlands Awards winners past and present provide continued inspiration in our efforts to protect and restore our nation’s wetlands. EPA commends the winners for their incredible work.”

The 2013 National Wetlands Awards recipients will be honored at a May 9 ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C.

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