Senator Debbie Stabenow to Receive Centennial Leadership Award from the National Parks Conservation Association

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) today will receive the Centennial Leadership Award at the National Parks Conservation Association’s Salute to the Parks. The award recognizes Senator Stabenow’s leadership in protecting the country’s national parks, national heritage areas, and the Great Lakes.

“In Michigan, we are caretakers of two national lakeshores, one national park, three national forests, as well as wildlife refuges, a marine sanctuary, historical parks and landmarks, a scenic trail and of course, our Great Lakes. These public lands and waters are vital to our way of life in Michigan and across the country – that’s why I’ve dedicated my career to protecting them,” said Senator Stabenow. “The National Parks Conservation Association has been such an important partner to me in passing legislation that safeguards these national treasures for generations to come. It’s my honor to receive this award from an organization so dedicated to preserving our nation’s natural wonders.”

“It is our privilege to bestow the Centennial Leadership Award to the senior senator from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow. Since Michiganders first sent Senator Stabenow to Congress in 1997, she has proven herself to be a stalwart champion for America’s Great Lakes and the ten national parks at the heart of the Great Lakes region. Senator Stabenow has led the fight to protect freshwater, resulting in billions of dollars invested in restoring and protecting our majestic Great Lakes,” said Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association.

“Senator Stabenow’s decisive action and leadership on climate, our national heritage areas, and other key national park issues has been inspiring. She is living proof that courageous public service can bring about real change, and she is an example for future leaders to follow. I know I speak for national park advocates across the country in thanking her for the mountains she has moved,” Pierno continued.

Senator Stabenow has been a leader in restoring and protecting the Great Lakes and public lands – which face growing threats as a result of the climate crisis. Senator Stabenow authored two landmark programs that will help ensure the lasting health of our Great Lakes and waterways for future generations – the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. She also helped pass the historic Great American Outdoors Act, which guaranteed much-needed funding for public lands maintenance and renovation projects in Michigan and across the country.

To protect National Heritage Areas, Senator Stabenow authored the National Heritage Area Act and shepherded it through Congress. Signed into law in 2023, the National Heritage Area Act reauthorized the MotorCities National Heritage Area in Detroit as well as 44 other National Heritage Areas that were set to expire by 2024 for another 15 years, ensuring long-term security for these sites and the communities they benefit. The bill also set up a much-needed framework for the designation and management of new and existing National Heritage Areas.

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations.