Jump to main content.


Alabama Gulf Guardian Award Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 18, 2002

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Three Alabama projects were awarded Gulf Guardian Awards recently at an annual ceremony held at the Clean Gulf 2002 Conference in Galveston, Texas.

Taking a first place win in the Youth and Education category, from Mobile, Ala., was The Project CATE (Conservation Action Through Education) Foundation, Inc. for Ribbit’s Big Splash. Accepting the award for the foundation were Dr. Brenda Litchfield and Neil Johnston.

Ribbit’s Big Splash is for students ages 8 through 12 and focuses on water -- rivers, ponds, wetlands, and the Gulf of Mexico. It presents interactive, decision-making activities for computer, home, and school.

In the Partnership Category, the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Environmental Defense, walked away with a second place award for the Gopher Tortoise Conservation Bank, also near Mobile, Ala. Accepting the award from the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service was W. Malcolm Steeves.

The Conservation Bank was completed in June 2001, after two years of planning: It was established in perpetuity on 222 acres of private property belonging to the Sewer Service to protect the tortoise, and restore its diminished habitat, the longleaf pine ecosystem.

The Forever Wild Program, conducted by Mobile Tensaw Delta Wetland Conservation Area in Montgomery, Ala., took a third place award. Accepting the award for the Forever Wild Program was Greg Lein, assistant director of the Alabama State Lands Division.

The Conservation Area represents a multi-phase approach to the acquisition, protection and inventory of Alabama’s largest and most ecologically significant wetland ecosystem. Since 1999, the Forever Wild Program has rallied numerous partners in the purchase of approximately 53,000 acres of bottomland hardwood habitats.

“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."

“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,” said Bryon Griffith, deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Program. “These award winners today exemplify the exceptional level of quality of effort being undertaken cooperatively by the public and private sectors to address critical issues that face Gulf coastal communities,” he added.

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 of Mexico Program is sponsored 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.

For more information about the Gulf Guardian call Terry Hines Smith at 228-688-1159. Photos (5) of the award winners accepting their awards, with cutlines are below.

Terry Hines Smith, APR
Gulf of Mexico Program
Office of Public Affairs
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center MS 39529-6000
(228) 688-1159
Fax: (228) 688-2709
Email: hines-smith.terry@epa.gov
Web Site: http://www.epa.gov/gmpo

The mission of the Gulf of Mexico Program is to facilitate the protection and restoration of the coastal marine waters of the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal natural habitats; to sustain living resources; to protect human health and the food supply; and to ensure the recreational use of Gulf shores, beaches and waters in ways consistent with the economic well-being of the region, through a network of citizens and institutions.

ALABAMA AWARD WINNERS
(Photos 7291, 7292, 7293, 7294, and 7295)

Ribbitt's  Big Splash
The Project CATE Foundation’s Ribbitt’s Big Splash interactive CDROM won a first place Gulf Guardian Award in the Youth and Education category. Accepting the award at the Nov. 6 ceremony in Galveston, Texas, at the Clean Gulf Conference are from left to right: Neil C. Johnston, president and general counsel of The Project CATE Foundation, Inc., Dr. Brenda Litchfield, educational director for the project, John Carlton with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and award presenter, and Bryon Griffith, deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Program and event host.

The Forever Wild Program
The Forever Wild Program conducted by the Mobile Tensaw Delta Wetlands Conservation Area in Montgomery, Ala., received a third place Gulf Guardian Award in the Government category. Accepting the award at the Nov. 6 ceremony in Galveston, Texas, at the Clean Gulf Conference are from left to right: Greg Lein, assistance director of the Alabama State Lands Division; John Carlton with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and award presenter, and Bryon Griffith, deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Program and event host.

Gopher Tortoise project
A second place Gulf Guardian Award in the Partnership category went to the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Environmental Defense for the Gopher Tortoise Conservation Bank near Mobile, Ala. Accepting the award at the Nov. 6 ceremony in Galveston, Texas, at the Clean Gulf Conference are from left to right: W. Malcolm Steeves of the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service, John Carlton with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and award presenter, and Bryon Griffith, deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Program and event host.

Alabama Group Shots
Pictured from left to right are the Alabama Gulf Guardian Award winners who accepted their awards at the 2002 Clean Gulf Conference held in Galveston, Texas, Nov. 6: Bryon Griffith, deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Program and event host; Greg Lein, assistant director of the Alabama State Lands Division; W. Malcolm Steeves with the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Service; Neil Johnston and Dr. Brenda Litchfield from The Project CATE Foundation, Inc., for Ribbitt’s Big Splash; and John Carlton with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, awards presenter.

Gulf of Mexico Program Office
Mail Code: EPA/GMPO
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-6000
228-688-3726
FAX: 228-688-2709


Local Navigation


Jump to main content.