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Les Reflections du Bayou - 1st PLACE GULF GUARDIAN AWARD

Release Date: 03/28/2006
Contact Information: Gulf of Mexico Program Office at 228-688-3726

(STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - March 28, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that Les Reflections du Bayou will receive a first place Gulf Guardian Award for 2005 in the Civic/Nonprofit Organization Category for the "Citizens Water Quality Monitoring and Marine Habitat Enhancement Project." The awards will be presented at the State of the Gulf Conference 2006, to be held March 28, 2006, at the Harte Research Institute in Corpus Christi, Texas, beginning at 6 p.m.

The Citizens Water Quality Monitoring and Marine Habitat Enhancement Project began in October of 2003 and involved a large collaborative effort between area citizens, school, several government agencies and the Les Reflections du Bayou members. It was initiated to combat environmental concerns of erosion, loss of habitat, and water quality in the Bayou Lafourche area. A total of 5,500 giant cut grass bare root plants were planted, along with 7,500 Smooth Cord Oyster Grass plants along the southern Bayou Lafourche embankments from Cut Off to lower Galliano, Louisiana. Les Reflections du Bayou set up six water quality monitoring sites along the area to collect information and detect changes in the environment.

"The Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2005 are prime examples of collaborative environmental efforts leading to neighborhood solutions that transcend political boundaries," said Benjamin Grumbles, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water in Washington, D.C. "I commend all of the winners for their innovative partnerships, common sense ideas, and hard work. Their efforts are making a difference in protecting and restoring the Gulf of Mexico."

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. 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 issues affecting the Gulf coast are extraordinarily varied, ranging from the weather to the economy. The partners who work together to address these issues must be similarly varied, bringing skills from every aspect of our society," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "I applaud this year's winners of the Gulf Guardian Awards for their leadership and their ability to join together and achieve their extraordinary goals."

Gulf of Mexico Program Office Director Bryon O. Griffith said, "This year's Gulf Guardian Award winners encapsulate the essence of the Gulf of Mexico Program and our efforts to attain environmental solutions in concert with economic growth. Environmental successes are exponential when you bring the resources of many to the table, as the 2005 winners have so successfully demonstrated."

For a list of all the Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2005, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program web site at and click on the Gulf Guardian Award button.

The Gulf of Mexico Program is underwritten by the EPA 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.


Note to correspondents: For more information about the Gulf Guardian Awards and the Gulf of Mexico Program, call the Gulf of Mexico Program Office at 228-688-3726. For more information about Les Reflections du Bayou, call Susan Terrebonne at 985-632-6040.