At their annual banquet, held this March, the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Texas Corpus Christi Chapter honored Dr. Wes Tunnell and his son Jace Tunnell for their conservation efforts. Dr. Wes Tunnell received the Conservation Lifetime Achievement Award and Jace Tunnell was honored as Conservationist of the Year. Dr. Wes Tunnell is the Endowed Chair for Biodiversity and Conservation Science and Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Harte Research Institute and Jace Tunnell is the Director of the Mission-Aransas Reserve at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute.
"Their work spans from ground-up involvement in local volunteer-based conservation projects (Jace) all the way to researching Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coral reef communities (Wes). Not too often is our chapter given the opportunity to acknowledge a great pair of stewards of our marine resources," said Jake Herring, President of the Corpus Christi Chapter of CCA Texas.
Jace Tunnell has a long history of conservation. Prior to his position at UTunnell participates regularly in important conservation efforts to protect birds, habitats, and wildlife, and has been involved in several key efforts to bring large groups of communities together to communicate about the environment, such as the Baffin Bay Study Group and the South Texas Environmental Professionals. Jace Tunnell is also interested in promoting a sense of stewardship to the local community. In particular Jace Tunnell has a knack for creating videos that invoke inspiration about conserving our local coastal resources. He has also published a book with his father, Dr. Wes Tunnell, titled ‘Pioneering Archaeology in the Texas Coastal Bend,’ with the hopes that some of the Coastal Bend archaeological sites might someday be protected through conservation. His passion for the environment goes above and beyond what is required of him through his job. He is an advocate for conservation, educating people on the importance of nature so that the next generation can enjoy the same experiences we have enjoyed.TMSI, he was the Director of Research and Planning at the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program where he worked to restore habitats throughout the Coastal Bend. He also serves as president of the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation.
Congratulations to both Wes and Jace!