The state Nature Preserves Commission has given three Western Kentucky University professors its annual award for work that protects biological diversity.
The professors are Alfred Meier, Ouida Meier, and Scott Grubbs. They were given this year's Biological Diversity Protection Award for their work creating the Upper Green River Biological Preserve.
The preserve is on both banks of the Green River in Hart County. The Green River is the most important river in Kentucky for the conservation of rare native mussels and fish. It hosts 109 fish species and nearly 60 mussel species.
The area is also important for an endangered bat species found on the preserve and as a breeding and migratory habitat for songbirds.
The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission was created in 1976 to protect the best remaining natural areas of Kentucky.