Get Email Updates

Stay informed and learn about our action alerts and news sign up

Bruce Buckson

Bruce Buckson

Bruce Buckson

" I look forward to working with this highly professional team to provide fair and effective enforcement of laws and regulations that ensure sustainable marine fisheries. Over my career with the FWC, I’ve worked with NOAA Fisheries OLE personnel and with Fisheries Management Councils and Commissions in efforts to protect living marine resources and their habitats. I welcome the opportunity in my new role to enhance public trust in this important mission, and I plan to meet with regional staff and with our constituents and community partners to understand the important issues in their regions."

- Bruce Buckson






















































Florida Marine Fisheries Law Enforcement Veteran to Lead NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement; Buckson brings 29 years Experience to NOAA

Bruce Buckson, a nationally-recognized leader with 29 years experience in natural resource conservation law enforcement, has been named the new director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement. He begins his new job on September 4, 2011. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Buckson comes to NOAA from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission where he has served as the Deputy Director of the Law Enforcement Division since 2007.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Division is one of the largest fish and wildlife law enforcement agencies in the world with over 700 employees in a state with the nation’s second longest coastline. In his new role at NOAA, Buckson will direct the efforts of more than 200 NOAA Fisheries Enforcement employees, including special agents and enforcement officers, working out of national headquarters, six divisional offices, and 52 field offices throughout the United States and U.S. territories.

Lt. Col. Buckson began his law enforcement career patrolling the waters of the upper Florida Keys and advanced to increasing levels of responsibility within the Commission. Among his career highlights, he directed marine law enforcement operations, led a statewide resource protection unit, coordinated a mutual aid agreement to enhance state and federal protection of endangered manatees, and served as the FWC’s law enforcement liaison to regional Fisheries commissions and councils and to federal agencies.

Buckson has been recognized throughout his career with numerous citations and awards. In 2004, he received the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Annual Award in Excellence in Law Enforcement for his career contributions to fisheries conservation and his advocacy for consistency in fisheries enforcement approaches and information sharing across state and federal agencies. Other awards include the Division of Law Enforcement Award of Merit and Medal of Valor; Statewide Agency Officer of the Year and State Law Enforcement Chiefs Officer of the Year; NOAA OLE Outstanding Leadership Achievement Award; and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Guy Bradley Leadership and Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Buckson will succeed acting director Alan Risenhoover who will return to his permanent assignment as the Director of Sustainable Fisheries at NOAA.

What Others Are Saying

“In his new role, Bruce will advance our mission to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations that conserve and protect our nation's marine resources. For example, he will expand our dockside presence and improve communications with fishermen with the hiring of 23 new enforcement officers and lead the search for a new Special Agent in Charge for the Northeast Region.”

- Eric Schwaab, NOAA Fisheries

“Bruce brings extensive experience with the effective enforcement of the regulations needed to manage marine resources as well as a wealth of experience with the council process. He will be a positive force in ensuring the sustainability of our marine fisheries.”

- Robert Mahood, South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council

“Lt. Col. Buckson has provided 29 years of dedicated service to the State of Florida. We have sincerely appreciated his efforts protecting the state’s people, fish and wildlife. At this time, Buckson has chosen to take a step toward protecting our valuable natural resources in another way. We support him and look forward to working with him in his new role.”

- Katie Purcell, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

"Bruce has been a very effective leader at the state level and will increase the collaboration with and effectiveness of NOAA's cooperative enforcement program nationally. His 29 years of experience will bring a valuable perspective to Federal compliance and enforcement across the Nation."

- Kurt Blanchard, the Rhode Island Dept. of Environment’s Office of Law Enforcement

Today, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission joins the Gulf and Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commissions in expressing our strong support for NOAA's selection of Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Buckson as the new Director of the Office of Law Enforcement.  Colonel Buckson has had a distinguished career in Natural Resources law enforcement, rising through the ranks to the senior leadership team of the Florida Marine Patrol, an organization of more than 700 officers, one of the largest fish and wildlife enforcement agencies in the nation.

Throughout his long career, Colonel Buckson has distinguished himself through his strong leadership, ability to work well with others, and his dedication to constructively engage with both commercial and recreational fishermen to promote compliance with fisheries regulations.  In addition to his expertise in agency leadership, he has extensive experience in marine operations, field supervision, undercover operations, inter-agency coordination, and public outreach.

ASMFC is particularly proud to note that Colonel Buckson served for more than 16 years as Florida's representative to the Commission's Law Enforcement Committee where he worked extensively with fisheries law enforcement counterparts from our 14 other member states and our federal law enforcement partners.  He was awarded with the Commission’s Award of Excellence in 2004 in recognition of his high level of professionalism as well as for his efforts to successfully promote consistency in fisheries enforcement across state and federal agencies.  

"Bruce Buckson knows people, fisheries, law enforcement, and our states.  I am delighted with NOAA's decision to select him to lead their Office of Enforcement.  Colonel Buckson's long history in fisheries enforcement, high sense of integrity, and proven sound judgment will serve NOAA OLE well as it moves forward to build partnerships with stakeholders, state agencies, and the Coast Guard to promote compliance within the regulated commercial and recreational fishing communities.  Our states look forward to working with Bruce on this important goal and supporting him in his new job," said Commission Chair, Robert H. Boyles, Jr.

“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will miss the knowledge and leadership that Col. Buckson has provided over the years, but are excited about the opportunity to work with him in his new role,” said Jessica McCawley, Florida’s Administrative Commissioner to ASMFC.

- Atlantic States, Pacific States, and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission

Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council join other fishery management agencies across the country in expressing strong support for NOAA's selection of Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Buckson as the new Director of the Office of Law Enforcement. During his distinguished career of 29 years with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement, Colonel Buckson served as the FWC’s law enforcement liaison to regional fisheries commissions and councils and federal agencies.

“Colonel Bruce Buckson is an excellent choice to head the office of NOAA Office for Law Enforcement,” said Council Chairman David Cupka.  “I have known Bruce for many years and he has always brought a tremendous amount of professionalism and dedication to his law enforcement responsibilities at the state level.  I’m sure that he will bring the same attributes to his new job at the federal level.” 

Colonel Buckson served on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Law Enforcement Advisory Panel for over 15 years where he played an integral role in the development of law enforcement policies relative to fisheries management.  As chairman of the Law Enforcement Advisory Panel, Colonel Buckson led both state and federal law enforcement representatives from agencies throughout the southeast in providing recommendations to the Council regarding enforcement issues associated with regulatory actions, including the development and implementation of the first series of marine protected areas in the South Atlantic.

“Colonel Buckson is an excellent communicator with strong leadership skills who is able to work with everyone involved in the fishery management process,” said Chairman Cupka.  “We look forward to continuing to work with him and wish him well in his new role.”

- South Atlantic Fishery Management Council