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Muskegon resident Theresa Bernhardt receives President's Volunteer Service Award

Release Date: 08/13/2008
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon 312-353-6218,

No. 08 - OPA128

CHICAGO (Aug. 13, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson yesterday presented Muskegon resident Theresa Bernhardt with the President's Volunteer Service Award for championing the cleanup of Ruddiman Creek and Pond.
In 1996 she launched the first Earth Day tire cleanup along the creek. She went on to establish the Ruddiman Creek Task Force and worked tirelessly with other community members, and federal, state and local officials to clean up and restore Ruddiman Creek and Pond. Thanks in part to her efforts, in 2006 EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality completed a cleanup of 90,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the creek. Ruddiman Creek and Pond connect to Muskegon Lake, which feeds into Lake Michigan.
She has continued and expanded her commitment to the environment. She launched a Watershed Stewardship program for 150 middle school students with high school mentors and continues to work to restore the Muskegon Lake Area of Concern. For the past twelve years, she has coordinated Earth Week events in the Muskegon area involving thousands of children.
Bernhardt, a substitute teacher, and her husband Michael, a Naval Reserve Commander, live in the Glenside neighborhood with their three children.

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