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Gulf of Mexico Foundation Mexico Chapter Wins Gulf Guardian Award

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Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (

DALLAS – (Nov. 30, 2017) The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced the Gulf of Mexico Foundation Mexico Chapter won a 2017 Gulf Guardian Award in the bi-national category. The foundation is being recognized for work to restore coastal mangroves in the Mexican Gulf states of Veracruz, Campeche and Quintana Roo.

Ben Scaggs, Director of Gulf of Mexico Program said, “Whether for individual recreational use or as an economic engine supporting a wide variety of jobs and industry, the Gulf of Mexico is a vibrant yet vulnerable ecosystem. Protecting this national resource requires innovative approaches and proactive measures. The Gulf Guardian award winners are paving the way for ‘out of the box’ thinking and replicable practices.” 

The Gulf of Mexico Foundation Mexico Chapter works to raise public awareness of wetlands and coastal habitats while working to conserve and restore these ecosystems. An area of particular concern is mangroves, a type of tree or shrub that grows in coastal waters. Mangroves provide many benefits, including nourishing coastal fisheries, reducing flood impact, connecting coastal ecosystems such as sea grasses and coral reefs, and filtering water. Mexico is among the four countries with largest mangrove surfaces, but also has one of the highest loss rates.  

During 2015, the Mexico Chapter carried out a major project to restore mangroves in coastal lagoons in the Mexican Gulf States of Veracruz, Campeche and Quintana Roo. Working with unique conditions and threats at each site, the group restored almost 82 acres of mangroves, which benefitted an additional 370 acres of habitat. The restoration of coastal lagoons and mangroves will help reestablish habitats that sustain a wide variety of plants and animals, nourishing coastal fisheries and supporting complex food webs.

The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian awards in 2000 as a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: individual, business/industry, youth environmental education, civic/nonprofit organizations, cultural diversity/environmental justice, partnership and bi-national efforts. This year’s ceremony will be held on November 30, 2017, at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear, Alabama.

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. 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.

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