The best from our year

Hatchery-raised Atlantic salmon. Credit: USFWS

Hatchery-raised Atlantic salmon. Credit: USFWS

Sea turtle nests met Virginia's state record. Credit:  USFWS

Sea turtle nests met Virginia’s state record. Credit: USFWS

Releasing a rabbit.

Biologist Heidi Holman releases a New England cottontail. Credit: USFWS

We’re bringing in the new year with a look back at our milestones for 2012. Here’s what you should know:

Best of 2012:

1) Protecting and restoring our waters: The first National Blueway and the first dam removal in the Penobscot River Restoration Project.

2) Recovering wildlife: New England cottontails, sea turtles and piping plovers galore.

3) Service prepares and responds to Hurricane Sandy: We took precautions to prepare for the superstorm and evaluate impacts to Service staff and facilities.

4) Going “green” is a natural choice: We worked to reduce our carbon footprint this year!

5) Conserving the Chesapeake Bay: More than 15 million people reside or work within this watershed, and we continued to conserve this important resource and its environment.

6) Safeguarding wildlife without borders: Our undercover law enforcement effort hit a milestone in stopping the black market trade of endangered rhinoceros horn.

7) Connecting people with nature: More than 7,000 volunteers donated nearly 250,000 hours of time towards work in natural resource conservation on Service lands and in Service programs.

8) Controlling invasive species: Fighting the invasive hydrilla plant, purple loosestrife plant and sea lamprey (in Lake Champlain).

9) Gone fishin’: It’s a mouthful – We raised Atlantic salmon, brook, rainbow and lake trout, American shad, paddlefish and a variety of freshwater mussel species, including the endangered James spinymussel, shiny pigtoe, northern riffleshell, clubshell, pink mucket, dromedary pearlymussel and sheepnose.

10) When one plus one can equal three: There’s no way we could get our job done without your help.

We’re getting 2013 started off on the right foot!

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