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EDDIE SEIDENSTICKER WINS GULF GUARDIAN AWARD

It's Time Graphic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2002

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss.
The Gulf Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that Eddie Seidensticker will receive a second place Gulf Guardian Award for 2002 in the Individual Category for his efforts with the Wetland and Oyster Reef Restoration at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. The award will be presented to Mr. Seidensticker 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."

I am honored to be selected to receive a Gulf Guardian Award, said Eddie Seidensticker. I think the work the Gulf of Mexico Program has identified many of the problems associated with the Gulf of Mexico. The loss of Habitat is one of the major issues. My work in helping to restore and protect that habitat has been very rewarding.

The Wetland and Oyster Reef Restoration at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge began in the summer of 1999 and has been monitored yearly since then to determine its success. Eddie Seidensticker of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service served as project manager. The project was funded by the Shell Marine Habitat Program, administered by the Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and planted using volunteers from the Galveston Bay Foundation. The project is located on the Northern Shoreline of East Galveston Bay, which is constantly eroding from the prevailing southeasterly winds. The cumulative effect of this erosion is loss of habitats, increased turbidity, and the increasing threat of saltwater intrusion.

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 http://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 Mr. Seidensticker, call 713-383-4285.

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


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