HARRISBURG, Pa. (May 22) – A Jersey Shore native and biologist with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has received a Governor’s Award for Excellence for his work in protecting thousands of freshwater mussels as part of the Hunter Station bridge replacement project in Forest County.
Jordan Allison, a biologist with the PFBC’s Division of Environmental Services, was part of a team which included six employees from the Department of Transportation (PennDOT), as well as other individuals from state, federal and non-governmental organizations, who worked on the bridge replacement project.
They received the award during a ceremony held today in Harrisburg.
Over the last several years, the Hunter Station team relocated more than 130,000 mussels from the Allegheny River beneath the Hunter Station Bridge, of which the majority were federally threatened and endangered species. This project was unprecedented as it is the largest known relocation of protected mussel species not only in Pennsylvania but in North America. Approximately 35,000 of the mussels were moved to rivers and streams within the Commonwealth to give the species opportunities to reestablish populations in areas where they have not existed in over a century.
“The ultimate goal of the project is to promote recovery so these species can be removed from the endangered species list,” said Allison.
“This project was a tremendous undertaking and on behalf of the Commission and the Board of Commissioners, I want to congratulate Jordan and his team for their hard work and successful effort to protect and conserve these freshwater mussels,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.
Members of the team were among 37 state employees to receive an Award for Excellence today from Gov. Tom Wolf. The PennDOT employees on the team include Autumn Kelley, Larry Lineman, Marc Rickard, Chris Wolfgong, Jeanette Uhl and Antonia Zawisa.
“The employees being recognized have gone above and beyond their job requirements to provide outstanding service and make government more responsive and effective,” said Governor Wolf. “Their accomplishments are truly exemplary and inspiring. We are fortunate to have such outstanding public servants working for the people of Pennsylvania.”
Allison joined the PFBC in 2011. As part of his daily job responsibilities, he works hand in hand with the Department of Environmental Protection’s Waterways, Engineering and Wetlands Program to protect the aquatic resources of the Commonwealth, which include fish, freshwater mussels, reptiles and amphibians.
He is a 2004 graduate of Jersey Shore Area Senior High School, Lycoming County, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries Biology from Mansfield University in 2008.
Thirty state agencies submitted a total of 82 nominations prepared by their employees, with five individual and four group nominations selected as winners for this year’s awards.
“The Governor’s Awards for Excellence celebrate the best among us as state employees,” said Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich. “I want to congratulate all of our nominees for their noteworthy contributions.”
Governor’s Office - J.J. Abbott, 717-783-1116
Office of Administration - Dan Egan, 717-772-4237
Fish and Boat Commission - Eric Levis, 717-705-7806 or email@example.com