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Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2004

Partnership Category - 3rd Place

Dec. 1, 2004


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program today presented the America’s WETLAND: Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana with a third place Gulf Guardian Award for 2004 in the Partnerships Category. The award ceremony was held aboard the Creole Queen Riverboat in New Orleans, La.

The State of Louisiana has an impending environmental crisis that could have economic and ecological ramifications across the country and the world. Louisiana is losing 25-35 square miles of coastal wetlands per year, and few people in Louisiana, and even fewer nationwide, are aware of the problem and its possible economic and ecological impact.

In order to raise public awareness of the impact Louisiana’s wetland loss has on the state, nation and world and gain support for efforts to conserve and save coastal Louisiana, the state launched America’s WETLAND: Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana.

The research phase of campaign development, which included stakeholder interviews and focus groups in Louisiana and Pennsylvania, began in February 2002 and continued through May. It assessed the awareness of key audiences about the threats to Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and the development of compelling messages to reach those audiences.

Results indicated few people could describe the problem. However, research also revealed that coastal Louisiana is an area of world ecological and economic significance where preservation and productivity coexist. Based on these results, the America’s WETLAND campaign was designed to raise awareness and gain support for coastal restoration by focusing on two primary themes — economic and energy security and world ecological significance.

"The successes achieved by the America's WETLAND campaign wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the collaboration between individuals and organizations from a multitude of backgrounds,” said King Milling, Chairman of the America's WETLAND Foundation Board. “Winning third place for partnerships is a testament to the dedication to saving America's WETLAND shown by so many people throughout Louisiana and the country.”

“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 Louisiana’s wetland loss and the America’s Wetland Campaign, call Val Marmillion or Brian Lehman at 202-387-8550 or Sydney Coffee at 225-342-3968.

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

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