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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Honors New Jersey Environmental Champions

Contact Information: 
John Martin (martin.johnj@epa.gov)
Mary Mears (mears.mary@epa.gov)

(New York, N.Y. - April 24, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has honored six individuals and organizations from across New Jersey with Environmental Champion Awards for their achievements in protecting public health and the environment. EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by Donovan Richards, Chair of the New York City Council's Committee on Environmental Protection, to present the awards to this year's recipients at a ceremony at the EPA's offices in Manhattan. Included in the awardees was a group of High School Students from Little Egg Harbor, who won a national President's Environmental Youth Award.

"The EPA is thrilled to honor the work of these environmental trailblazers," said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "These New Jerseyans work tirelessly to protect human health and the environment, inspiring us all to strive for a more sustainable future."

The Environmental Champion Award winners from New Jersey (in alphabetical order) are:

Angela Contillo Andersen
Long Beach, New Jersey
Angela Andersen is the Environmental Coordinator for the Township of Long Beach, New Jersey, and a Barnegat Bay Eco-Kayak tour guide. A tireless environmental steward, she has written and been awarded grants for rain barrels, a school garden, school compost programs, pollination gardens and hydration stations. Her service to the environment includes board memberships on the Association of NJ Recyclers and the Ocean County Solid Waste Advisory Council. She is also a columnist for Bay Magazine and the SandPaper.

Cooper's Ferry Partnership
Camden SMART Initiative
Camden, New Jersey
The Camden SMART Initiative alleviates the city of Camden's extreme urban water infrastructure challenges through the development of green and grey infrastructure projects. To date, the Camden SMART Initiative has constructed a total of 39 green infrastructure projects throughout Camden, which capture, treat, and infiltrate 4.3 million gallons of stormwater yearly that would otherwise contribute to the flooding of streets, neighborhoods, parks, and homes. SMART has also distributed more than 120 rain barrels to Camden residents, planted over 992 trees, engaged 3,890 community members, hosted 33 sustainability events and workshops, and collaborated with 35 project partners in the development of green infrastructure projects and programs.

Charles Pietarinen
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Trenton, New Jersey
As Chief of the Bureau of Air Monitoring, Charlie Pietarinen has spent his career demonstrating the highest level of achievement as a public servant in the environmental field. He has extensive knowledge of ambient air monitoring instrumentation and practices and is New Jersey's principal liaison with the EPA and other parties on air monitoring issues. He also designed New Jersey's extensive monitoring network which reports various pollutants such as ozone, sulfur dioxide, particles and carbon monoxide, in the state's most populated cities and towns.

Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
Pennington, New Jersey
The Association, Central New Jersey's first environmental group, has provided Conservation, Advocacy, Science and Education to the 25 municipalities in its watershed for the last 65 years. Among its recent accomplishments are: Conducting 302 educational programs, serving 7,874 participants from pre-school to adult; running the premier watershed volunteer monitoring program in the State, which is enhanced by a state-of-the-art science laboratory; and, successfully working to have a ballot initiative adopted for a stable source of long-term funding for open space.

Students United for a Responsible Global Environment (SURGE)
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton University's SURGE is an environmental organization advocating for students to take action to protect the planet. SURGE worked with national environmental groups to host an event with former U.S. Congressman Rush Holt, who talked about the Clean Power Plan and the Alaska Wilderness Act. SURGE was also instrumental in the People's Climate March in New York City, organizing marchers on buses and trains from Princeton University, and leading a contingency of activists at that historic event. SURGE has continued to raise awareness and stay engaged in climate issues.


Pinelands Eco Scienteers
"It's a Pressing Matter"
Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey

A group of high school students from Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, discovered that in many parts of the world, the only fuel available for cooking meals is wood from nearby forests, resulting in widespread deforestation. Under the guidance of Stephen Kubricki, this group of teenagers worked for four years to develop and distribute low-cost briquette presses that utilize bio-waste products - like peanut shells, corn stalks and banana peels - specific to each country where deforestation is a problem. They field tested their press in Guatemala and, with fellow students, completed 100 mini-presses for shipment to rural villages.

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