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Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2004

Government Category - 3rd Place

Dec. 1, 2004


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program today presented the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing at the University of South Florida and the National Coastal Data Development Center at Stennis Space Center, Miss., with a third place Gulf Guardian Award for 2004 in the Government Category for the Harmful Algal Blooms Observing System (HABSOS). The award ceremony was held aboard the Creole Queen Riverboat in New Orleans, La.

HABSOS is an ongoing multi-agency initiative, begun in 2001, to develop an Internet-based communication system for collecting, processing and disseminating HAB and relevant environmental data and information within the Gulf of Mexico. HABSOS seeks to provide a forum to better understand the common dynamics and consequences of HAB events, and to assist state event response and management decision-making, including first alert, event validation, oyster bed and beach closure decisions, and public notification and interaction. Most recently, the Mexican Gulf States have joined HABSOS, resulting in a true international collaboration to monitor HAB dynamics without regard to political boundaries.

“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 HABSOS contact Dr. Frank Muller-karger at 727-553-3335 or Jeanne Allen at 228-688-2896.

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

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