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FWC names boating educator of the year

News Release

Friday, July 08, 2011

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has selected Dr. Wilbur G. Hugli of Fort Walton Beach as Florida's 2010 Boating Educator of the Year. As the state winner, Hugli will also be a candidate for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators' (NASBLA) national award.

The award recognizes those in the boating education field who go above and beyond to engage new and current boaters, raise awareness and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.

FWC Capt. Richard Moore, who is Florida's boating law administrator and NASBLA representative, was responsible for working with a selection committee to choose a recipient for the award.

"While all of the nominees demonstrated outstanding credentials, our committee unanimously selected Dr. Hugli." Moore said.

Hugli has been part of the Fort Walton Sail and Power Squadron, a unit of the U.S. Power Squadrons, for 21 years. The U.S. Power Squadrons organization is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable by teaching classes in seamanship, navigation and related subjects.

Through his efforts with the Power Squadrons, Hugli has volunteered his time to author four widely acclaimed boating safety seminars as well as a benchmark student manual for educating new boaters.

"Many people have busy lifestyles and a limited ability to commit to traditional classes," Moore said. "Dr. Hugli has pioneered creative solutions to address this."

Hugli has also reached out to young boaters, prompting Crestview High School and the University of West Florida to implement classroom and online boating safety classes.

"Dr. Hugli has been a valuable partner to the FWC," Moore said. "He is thoroughly involved with boating safety education and training at all levels and truly understands the goal of educating the public - reducing risk and ultimately saving lives."

Moore said the selection committee focused on choosing an individual who exhibited a passion for safe boating, a use of innovative education techniques, a delivery of risk-based education and active support of state boating safety goals.

"We are impressed with the way Dr. Hugli's boating safety education efforts fit our areas of emphasis and the fact that he has accomplished so much in his work as a volunteer," Moore said.

FWC staff will formally recognize Hugli at an upcoming Fort Walton Sail and Power Squadron meeting. Hugli will now compete with nominees from other states at both the regional and national level. The three regional winners will win a trip to the NASBLA Annual Conference, where the national winner will be announced.



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