Jump to main content.

Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2004

Individual Category - 3rd Place

Dec. 1, 2004


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program today presented Robert Stewart with a third place Gulf Guardian Award for 2004 in the Individual Category The award ceremony was held aboard the Creole Queen Riverboat in New Orleans, La.

Dr. Robert E. Stewart has devoted his entire career to improving our understanding of the natural world with a single purpose — to support wetland conservation. His scientific and leadership contributions during the past 30 years have particularly and dramatically advanced coastal wetland protection in the Gulf Coast region. When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to construct a National Wetlands Research Center in 1989, Stewart fought hard to get it located on the Gulf Coast where most wetland losses occur. Through his efforts and those in Congress he enlisted for support, the 75,000-foot National Wetlands Research Center was built in Lafayette, La. From this central-Gulf location, Stewart and his team have supported wetland inventory, monitoring, and research in every Gulf Coast state. Between the time the Center opened in 1992 and the spring of 2004, Dr. Stewart doubled its staff and established research stations in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Now part of the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Wetlands Research Center has emerged as the preeminent U.S. institution on wetland science because of its productivity, innovation, and impact under Dr. Stewart’s vision and leadership.

"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 Robert Stewart and the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, La., call Gaye Farris at 337-266-8550.

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

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.