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It's Time Graphic
July 3, 2002

The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that Outback Steakhouse in Gulfport, Miss., will receive a second place Gulf Guardian Award for 2002 in the Business Category. The award will be presented to owner Bob Taylor at the Clean Gulf Conference scheduled for Nov. 5-7, in Galveston, Texas.

Three years ago the Gulf of Mexico Program developed the Gulf Guardian awards as a method of recognizing and honoring 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.

The Gulf Guardian Awards take on special significance in 2002 as we celebrate 30 years since the passage of the Clean Water Act, said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. The efforts of those being recognized as Gulf Guardians are key to our success as we address water issues. These award winners accepted the challenge and have joined us as we restore and protect our nation's waters for future generations."

Several years ago, Bob Taylor, proprietor of Outback Steakhouse in Gulfport, Miss., decided to become active in his community by promoting various environmental, educational and charitable endeavors. In addition to the work he does with the South Mississippi Environmental and Agricultural Coordination Organization, for the past six years, his Outback Steakhouse crew has been a key sponsor and member of the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force. Mississippi's cleanup is organized around a barbecue lunch that he provides free of charge to participants of the cleanup as a thank you for their efforts. On the average, he has rewarded between 1,500 and 2,500 cleanup participants with lunch each year. He also encourages his employees to adopt and clean a section of beach.

I am honored that the Gulf of Mexico Program has recognized myself and the staff of Outback Steakhouse for this award, said Bob Taylor. As part of our generous budget for community activity, we have chosen environmental causes as a main recipient of these funds in the past and future. Our company encourages each restaurant to participate heavily toward local charities and causes.

Gulf of Mexico Program Office Director Jim Giattina said, The Gulf Guardian Award exemplifies what the Gulf of Mexico Program is all about ‑‑ innovative solutions that come about when we pool resources and look for creative ways to positively impact our quality of life and economic well-being. We are all one Gulf community and have only one Gulf of Mexico. Projects like these are helping to protect our local coastal waters, which significantly contributes to the Gulf's beauty and value, said Giattina.

For a list of all the Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2002, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program web site at https://www.epa.gov/gmpo and click on the Gulf Guardian Award button on the left.

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 Outback Steakhouse's involvement in Mississippi environmental efforts, call Bob Taylor at 228-897-1234.

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

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