2020 Resource Manager of the Year

Paul Rice

Paul Rice

Jim Stevenson Resource Manager of the Year Award

Paul is the park manager at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. He was honored with this award for his commitment to park habitat restoration, protection of natural resources and stewardship of state lands.

This prestigious environmental honor is bestowed annually to a natural resource manager from DEP, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Florida Forest Service, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The other award recipients are Vince Morris with the Florida Forest Service and Nathan Bunting with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Recipients are selected by a committee of environmental professionals representing the Sierra Club, Florida Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy.

Paul Rice’s 39-year career with the Florida Park Service has spanned a variety of parks and habitats, but the restoration projects he has overseen in the Florida Keys exemplify the quality of his work. The restoration of Carysfort and Port Bougainville marinas required strategic planning and creative partnerships. Paul also recognizes the importance of protection, creating a team to actively reduce damage to the park’s submerged resources, increasing the value of services they provide and reducing long-term costs.

These restoration and protection efforts have contributed to the health of several protected species, such as the Schaus swallowtail butterfly, Key Largo woodrat and several coral species. Paul has promoted collaborative efforts to monitor these and other species to ensure effective management.

Finally, Paul recognizes the important role of outreach and involvement in the community. Under his leadership, a new citizen support organization was created to support both parks. He also led staff and volunteers in efforts to create trails to highlight the restoration work and create further support for natural resource management.

The Jim Stevenson Resource Manager of the Year award is given annually to a representative from the Florida Park Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Florida Forest Service for excellence in the field of natural resource management.

2020 Florida State Parks Division Award Winners 

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