MIAMI : A Haitian marine biologist who successfully fought to create a national park to protect a large swath of Haiti’s north coast has won a prominent US environmental activism prize. Jean Wiener was awarded a Goldman Environmental Foundation prize for his efforts to establish the Caribbean nation’s first Marine Protected Areas while working with local communities to promote sustainable fishing practices and preserve mangrove forests.

In awarding the $175,000 prize, the Goldman foundation highlighted Wiener’s efforts in overcoming extreme poverty and political instability in Haiti, a country with few full-time environmentalists and almost no government programs to protect natural resources. Wiener, 50, is being honored along with five other prize winners at a ceremony in Washington on Wednesday for a campaign he led to create the Three Bays National Park, covering 30,000 square miles (75,000 sq km) stretching from the city of Cap Haitien to the border with the Dominican Republican. The park, created in 2014, protects the vulnerable eco-system of over-fished waters in the bays of Limonade, Caracol and Fort Liberté