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Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2004

Civic/Nonprofit Organization - 1st Place

Dec. 1, 2004


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program today presented the Gulf of Mexico Foundation with a first place Gulf Guardian Award for 2004 in the Civic and Non Category for their sustained efforts to protect the Gulf of Mexico. The award ceremony was held aboard the Creole Queen Riverboat in New Orleans, La. Foundation Director Dr. Quenton Dokken was present to accept the award.

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation (GMF), a nonprofit corporation based in Corpus Christi, Texas, was founded in 1990 by citizens concerned with the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico. Representing a wide range of interests — agriculture, business, fisheries, industry, tourism, and the environment — the Foundation works to promote and fund research, education, and conservation programs. The Foundation secures funding and technical expertise to support marine projects ranging from restoration to education and research. Since 2001, the GMF has administered a total of 19 coastal restoration projects resulting in hundreds of acres being restored throughout the five Gulf States. Each project included a strong community element, involving volunteers to do much of the hands-on restoration.

The educational component of the Foundation is accomplished by providing financial support and leadership to such programs as Down Under Out Yonder, which educates teachers about coral reef ecology through dive workshops held at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; bringing different cultures together through Science and Spanish Clubs for middle school students along the Texas coast; the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, which encourages students to excel in ocean studies through fun and competition; and Cyberways and Waterways, a program that conserves waterways through online and field-study learning programs that encourage students and teachers to protect and improve their environment .

"The Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2004 are prime examples of collaborative environmental efforts leading to neighborhood solutions that transcend political boundaries,” said Benjamin Grumbles, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water in Washington, D.C. “I commend all of the winners for their innovative partnerships, common sense ideas, and hard work. Their efforts are making a difference in protecting and restoring 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. 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. Award entries were received from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. A first, second, and third place award are given each year in six categories – individual, business, youth and education, nonprofit organizations, government, and partnership efforts.

Gulf of Mexico Program Office Director Bryon O. Griffith said, “This year’s Gulf Guardian Award winners encapsulate the essence of the Gulf of Mexico Program and our efforts to attain environmental solutions in concert with economic growth.” “Environmental successes are exponential when you bring the resources of many to the table, as the 2004 winners have so successfully demonstrated.”

For a list of all the Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2004, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program web site at https://www.epa.gov/gmpo and click on the Gulf Guardian Award button.

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.

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Gulf Guardian Awards and the Gulf of Mexico Program, call Terry Hines Smith at 228-688-1159. For more information about the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, call Dr. Quenton Dokken at 361-825-5814.

Gulf of Mexico Program Office
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
FAX: 228-688-2709

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