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MISSISSIPPI ENVIROTHON WINS GULF GUARDIAN AWARD

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

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that ChevronTexaco will receive a 2002 Gulf Guardian Award in the Youth/Education division for its sponsorship of the Mississippi Envirothon. Representatives from the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula will accept the award at the Clean Gulf Conference set 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."

We at ChevronTexaco are honored to receive a Gulf Guardian Award, said Steve Renfroe, ChevronTexaco Public & Government Affairs manager for Mississippi. We continue to appreciate our relationship with Mississippi Envirothon and hundreds of high school students who benefit annually from this natural resource problem-solving competition program.

The Mississippi Envirothon is part of a national program for high school students designed to educate and challenge young people in the environmental sciences. Three competitions were held on March 26, 2002. The north area was held at Crow's Neck EEC in Tishomingo County; the central area was held at Brown's Landing in Madison County; and the south area was held at Camp Tiak in Forrest County. More than 350 students and teachers were involved in the area competitions, as well as more than 100 professional resource people from various state agencies. The top five teams from each area competed at the state competition held at Roosevelt State Park May 1, 2002.

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 the Mississippi Envirothon, call Steve Renfroe at 228-938-4548.

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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