2022 MEAL Winners


Gulf Coast Marine Environmental Excellence Awardwhich recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region. Angus R Cooper III

Angus R. Cooper, III has been a natural resource conservationist his entire life. At the age of 10, he implemented a nest box project and grew the wood duck population on family property from 20 to over 400.
One of Angus greatest achievements benefiting coastal Alabama was his determination and drive to establish the Alabama Reef Program.  He was instrumental in garnering 19 million dollars from the state to implement this program that has benefited the rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico by helping re-establish habitat along Alabama's shores. 
Angus has served on the Alabama Wildlife Federation Board of Directors, Alabama’s oldest and largest citizens conservation organization.  He has served in many capacities including serving as AWF President.  Under his leadership several important milestones were achieved:
·       The  NaturePlex at the Alabama Nature Center and a dramatic increase in conservation education programs for youth and adults.
·         Increasing from  the number of AWF wildlife biologists helping private landowners manage wildlife and wildlife habitat across the state
·         Launch of the AWF Cypress Society to expand AWF’s program funding
·         Implementation of the Alabama Artificial Reef Plan
 He has personally led and coordinated a collaborative effort between AWF, Alabama Power Company, and Cooper/T. Smith to repurpose decommissioned boiler equipment from Alabama Power Company and a decommissioned barge from Cooper/T. Smith to establish an offshore artificial reef 23 miles off the Alabama coast in support of the Alabama Artificial Reef Plan.  He also coordinated another effort to help establish and provide infrastructure for the  artificial reef within the AWF Nearshore Artificial Reef Zone, 8 miles south of Dauphin Island.
Today, Angus continues his efforts toward coastal conservation through his work with the new quarter of a million-dollar Oyster Restoration Initiative that will expand the Bender Austal and Boykin Reefs near Dauphin Island by the end of the year.

Gulf Coast Marine Environmental Leadership AwardRecognizes an organization whose efforts have resulted in the improvement of marine environmental sustainability in the Alabama Gulf Coast Region. Alabama Wildlife Federation 

AWF is dynamic, citizen-based conservation organization with over 25,000 members and supporters dedicated to creating and promoting a balance between use, management and protection of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources through education, community involvement, and boots-on-the-ground assistance. To achieve that mission, we channel our efforts into three major focus areas:



Angus Cooper, III
Angus Cooper, III
Dave Gallo with Compressed Cup
Dave Gallo with Compressed Cup

Keynote Speaker David Gallo

The keynote speaker at the luncheon will be Dr. David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.  A pioneer in ocean exploration, Dr. Gallo is an enthusiastic ambassador between the sea and those of us on dry land.  Dr. Gallo works to push the bounds of oceanic discovery. Active in undersea exploration he was one of the first oceanographers to use a combination of manned submersibles and robots to map the ocean world with unprecedented clarity and detail.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Gallo has been at the forefront of ocean exploration, participating in and being witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that shape our view of Planet Earth.

David has participated in expeditions to all of the world’s ocean.   Most recently, he co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and he co-led the successful international effort to locate the remains of Air France Flight 447. He is presently involved in planning an international expedition to locate and document the wreckage of Ernest Shackleton’s ship, HMS Endurance.