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EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program Honors Texas and Louisiana Gulf Guardian Award Winners

Release Date: 06/27/2013
Contact Information: William McBride, 404-562-8400 or

(DALLAS – June 27, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program honored individuals and organizations working to preserve and restore the Gulf of Mexico at the biannual Gulf Guardian Awards Ceremony. The awards ceremony was held at the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Meeting on June 26 in Tampa, Florida.

Winners include several from Texas and Louisiana:

    · Dr. Dawn Lavoie, retired Gulf Coast Science Coordinator for the US Geological Survey, for leading projects on monitoring and restoration support for barrier islands, especially Louisiana’s Chandeleur Islands

    · Texas A&M University’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in Corpus Christi, TX, for developing Gulf 360, a geospatial database of coastal socioeconomic information from around the Gulf

    · Martin Ecosystems LLC, of Baton Rouge, LA, for its BioHavenÒ Floating Treatment Wetland project to remove nutrient pollution before wastewater is discharged into the environment

    ·, a Baton Rouge, LA, non-profit group started by two youngsters affected by 2010’s BP oil spill. The group wrote and published “G Is for Gulf,” an educational book for elementary-aged children.

    · Karla Klay, founder of Artist Boat, a non-profit in Galveston, TX, that integrates art and science to instill a stewardship ethic in communities throughout the Gulf region

    · NASA’s DEVELOP program, which engages students to use NASA databases to address local environmental problems. The program’s interns worked with St. Bernard Parish, LA, groups to recommend suitable planting sites for bald cypress trees.

The Gulf of Mexico Program developed the Gulf Guardian awards as a way to recognize and honor businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. The Gulf Guardian Award exemplifies what the Gulf of Mexico Program is all about: innovative solutions that occur when we pool resources and look for creative ways to positively impact our quality of life and economic well being. There are many companies, organizations, and individuals in the Gulf States and beyond that are "Gulf Guardians." The Gulf of Mexico Program believes they should be awarded for their stewardship of this national resource from which we all derive so much benefit.

The first Gulf Guardian Award winners were recognized in 2000. During the ceremony, a first, second and third place award was given in seven categories: Business/Industry, Civic/Non-Profit Organization, Partnerships, Youth Environmental Education, Individual, Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity, and Bi-National. This year there are 19 winners: 15 from states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, one from Virginia, one from Missouri, and two from Mexico. All winners receive a marble and glass memento and a video shown during the ceremony, which highlights their project or special accomplishment.

About the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program: