EPA Recognizes Gulf Guardians

On Dec. 13, EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program presented awards today to recognize innovative efforts to improve the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico.

First established in 2000, the Gulf Guardian Awards honor businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf ecosystem healthy, beautiful and productive.

"The issues affecting the Gulf Coast are among the most dynamic and variable that the nation faces, and the collaborating partners who address these issues daily exhibit the diverse range of skills needed to advance environmental protection in the region," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "I applaud this year?s winners of the Gulf Guardian Awards for their leadership and their ability to join together and achieve extraordinary goals."

Awardees for the state of Louisiana included Parishes Against Coastal Erosion, which includes all Louisiana coastal Parishes, and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (Port Fourchon). Texas honorees included The Coastal Watershed Program, Galveston Bay Estuary Program, SCENIC GALVESTON Inc., Harte Research Institute-Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Mr. Richard Benoit of League City.

Winners were presented with their awards at the 3rd National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration held in New Orleans, Louisiana. A first, second and third place award was given in seven categories: binational, business, civic/nonprofit, government, individual, partnerships and youth/education. The awards are sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Gulf of Mexico Program.

The Gulf of Mexico Program was formed in 1988 to provide a broad geographic focus on the major environmental issues in the Gulf. It is a non-regulatory inclusive partnership of representatives from various sectors, including state, federal, business, agricultural, environmental and citizens and community leaders from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. More information about the program and the winners of the 2006 Gulf Guardian Awards is available at http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/index.html.

This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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