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The Port of Houston Authority – “Clean and Green Program” Receive GULF GUARDIAN AWARD

Release Date: 10/22/2008
Contact Information: Gulf of Mexico Program Office at 228-688-3726

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Port of Houston Authority in Houston, Texas will receive a second place Gulf Guardian Award for 2008 in the Partnership Category for their “Clean and Green Program”. The 2008 Gulf Guardian awards hold a special significance this year as they will be awarded in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Program’s 20th Anniversary Celebration! (1988-2008). The awards ceremony will be held on October 29, 2008 at approximately 7 p.m., at the Hilton Riverside Hotel, Versailles Ballroom in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Clean & Green was developed by the Port of Houston Authority to enhance the Mighty Tidy skimmer boat that captures floatable storm water trash from area waterways before it reaches Galveston Bay and the Gulf. Launched in August 2007, probationers assigned to community service remove the trash left along the banks of the waterways that empty into the port after storms. This collaboration between public agencies including law enforcement and criminal justice, private sector funding and NGOs is exceeding expectations by more than doubling the impact of the skimmer boat alone. Clean & Green is an important new initiative designed to keep Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico cleaner for the wide range of wildlife that call it home as well as the numerous recreational boaters who enjoy the bay. By working in partnership with private industry, law enforcement, Harris County criminal judges, and a non-profit group involved with Buffalo Bayou, the Port of Houston Authority is halting the steady stream of non-point source pollution washing off of Houston’s streets into the bayous and floating on through the port into Galveston Bay and onto the Gulf of Mexico.

The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian awards in 2000 as a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. A first, second, and third place award are given each year in seven categories – individual, business, youth and education, nonprofit organizations, government, partnership and bi-national efforts.

“Gulf Guardian award winners represent the very best in efforts to ensure the Gulf of Mexico region remains a place where people, industry, and the environment can continue to thrive,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “Their accomplishments are making a positive difference for everyone, and EPA is pleased to recognize their environmental leadership.”

The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The Gulf of Mexico Program is underwritten by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf States. The Gulf Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development and is proud to be celebrating 20 years of successful partnerships to protect the Gulf of Mexico.

Bryon Griffith, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program said “After 9 years of conducting the Gulf Guardian Awards Program, I never cease to be amazed by the quality and depth of environmental accomplishments across the Gulf of Mexico region. The 2008 award winners will play an important part of the Gulf of Mexico Program's 20th anniversary celebration. (1988-2008). These special winners proudly illustrate for all of us what committed citizens, communities, governments, and businesses that share a common vision can do to improve, protect, and sustain our regional and national treasure, the Gulf of Mexico.”

For a list of all the Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2008, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program web site at and click on the Gulf Guardian Award button.

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Gulf Guardian Awards and the Gulf of Mexico Program, call the Gulf of Mexico Program Office at 228-688-3726 or visit our web site at