Washington, DC – The National Fish Habitat Board (Board) held their first meeting of 2024 on February 6. The primary order of business for the Board was to elect new members to fill expiring and vacant Board seats. The following individuals were elected to three-year terms on the Board: John O’Keefe of Yamaha Motor Corporation, representing corporate industry; Peter Micciche, Mayor, Kenai Peninsula Borough, AK, representing local government involved in fish habitat restoration; Ian Nakayama of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, representing Marine Recreational Anglers; and Chris Horton of Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, also representing Marine Recreational Anglers.
The America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (PL 116 – 188, ACE Act) outlines the composition of the National Fish Habitat Board which consists of 26 members, including nine seats appointed by their organizations and 17 seats representing various categories of fish habitat conservation stakeholders elected by the Board.
New Board member background:
John O’Keefe currently serves as a Government Relations Senior Specialist for Yamaha Motor Company and manages the Yamaha Rightwaters sustainability program. Peter Micciche currently serves as the Mayor of Kenai Peninsula Borough in Alaska. Micciche was previously the majority leader of the Alaska Senate from 2017-2019. Ian Nakayama serves as the Government Relations Manager at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP). Chris Horton currently serves as the Senior Director for Fisheries Policy at the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.
“The National Fish Habitat Partnership appreciates the continued strong and enduring interest from the conservation community to want to serve on the Board.” said Robert Boyles, Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “We had a very strong group of candidates vying for membership on the Board, which I think will strengthen the Board with diverse expertise for the future. I would like to thank all the departing Board members for their contributions to the National Fish Habitat Partnership and for being an integral part of the team.”
The Board also elected a Vice-Chair at their February meeting. Long-time Board member, Stan Allen of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, representing Councils and Commissions on the Board, was elected. Allen was the first Vice-Chair appointed to the Board since the passage of the ACE Act in 2020 and will serve a three-year term.
About the National Fish Habitat Partnership
Since 2006, NFHP has supported 1,300 projects benefiting fish habitat throughout all 50 states. This effort works to conserve fish habitat nationwide, leveraging federal, state, tribal, and private funding resources to achieve the greatest effect on fish populations through priority conservation projects of 20 regionally-based Fish Habitat Partnerships. In 2020, NFHP was recognized by Congress as part of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act. NFHP guidance and policies are developed in conjunction with our partnerships and National Fish Habitat Board. For more information, visit: https://fishhabitat.org/.