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Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2004

Youth/Education Category - 2nd Place

Dec. 1, 2004


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program today presented the Gulf Coast Environmental Education Program, run by Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, with a second place Gulf Guardian Award for 2004 in the Youth and Education Category. The award ceremony was held aboard the Creole Queen Riverboat in New Orleans, La.

The Gulf Coast Environmental Education Program is multi-faceted and designed to educate a large number of diverse individuals on the unique and fragile nature of coastal wetlands. The project was initiated by Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi and is currently funded through 2004 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The program consists of five components including classroom field experiences, summer kayak camps, community events, teacher workshops, and the Winter Texans Senior Program. More than 1,000 students and 84 teachers participated in the 2003-2004 teacher/student classroom field experiences and an additional 116 students took part in the 2003 summer kayak camp.

Through this educational program, nearly eight tons of trash were collected at four events and more than 1,200 people were involved in four beach clean ups. An additional 2,000 people participated in environmental community festival events. In June 2003, TAMU-CC conducted two environmental education programs for area teachers in conjunction with the Department of Education’s Teaching Environmental Science I and II summer courses. Primary and secondary teachers received in-depth instructions, field activities, site visits, and guest speaker presentations throughout this graduate level course designed to assist them in teaching local students about the local and global environmental community. Thirty teachers participated in the 2003 teacher workshops and two more workshops took place in 2004.

The Winter Texan Program provides a one-day general overview of the Coastal Bend’s ecology and relevant environmental issues and concerns. The trips involve a “round the bay” bus trip with stops at representative sites. Physically able participants are invited to explore one of the local wetlands for a hands-on view of the working system. More than 260 Winter Texans participated in this facet of the program in 2003 and 2004.

"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 Coast Environmental Education Program, contact Jay Tarkington at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, at 361-825-3221.

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

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