Cliff and Connie Glockner
Fishermen, Lacombe, Louisiana

For more than 25 years, Cliff and Connie Glockner have been advocates for wetlands protection in coastal Louisiana. Both commercial fishermen, Cliff and Connie are intimately acquainted with the rich ecological resources of Louisiana and the numerous threats they face. Among the Glockners’ efforts was a battle over the dredging of the lake bottom and wetlands of Lake Pontchartrain. Dredging had severely damaged the bottom of the lake, increased turbidity, smothered plankton, destroyed the grass beds within the lake, and had nearly wiped out the area’s fisheries. In 1988, the Glockners were instrumental in forming the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to coordinate efforts to protect and begin to restore the ecological integrity of the basin, including a wide variety of fresh, brackish, and salt water wetlands. Now six years old, the Foundation has received national recognition for its restoration and education programs.

Most recently, Cliff and Connie worked with the Foundation and other groups to campaign for a wildlife refuge to protect the wetlands on the north shore of the lake from development. On October 24, 1994, the Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge was declared. The first acquisition was 3,700 acres, and eventually the refuge will encompass 12,000 acres. While the ban on dredging and the establishment of the wildlife refuge represent important victories, they are only a fraction of Cliff and Connie’s work. They have been involved in many environmental education, restoration, and advocacy efforts over the years.

— Moira Mcdonald, Coalition to Restore Urban Waters