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EPA Administrator to Recognize Virginia Leader for Dedication to Volunteer Service

Release Date: 03/19/2007
Contact Information: Terri White, 215-814-5523

PHILADELPHIA (March 19, 2007) -- EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson is honoring Jay Gilliam of Rockbridge County, Va., with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Gilliam has been an active volunteer and leader in Virginia water monitoring for more than 15 years, working with Virginia Save Our Streams and the Foundation for Virginia’s Natural Resources.

    “Today we honor Jay Gilliam for answering President Bush's call to serve a cause greater than himself,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Dedicated volunteers like Jay are inspiring others to join them in delivering America a brighter, healthier future.”

    Johnson is presenting the award to Gilliam during a speech tonight, March 19, to the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) in Mount Vernon, Va.

    Gilliam, who was nominated for the award by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, became interested in water quality issues in the early 1990s when his favorite swimming spot was threatened by pollution.

    In 1991, Gilliam became a citizen volunteer with the Virginia Save Our Streams organization. He worked many hours collecting water quality samples. He revived and expanded volunteer recruitment and trained dozens of citizen volunteers using the Izaak Walton League’s biological monitoring method. Today, the program has about 350 certified volunteers, making it one of the largest citizen monitoring groups in Virginia.

    In the late 1990s under Gilliam’s direction, Virginia Save Our Streams became the first citizen monitoring group to enter into a formal agreement with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to expand citizen monitoring – this has led to many more
    trained citizen volunteers.

    Gilliam is also the chairman of the Foundation for Virginia’s Natural Resources, one of Virginia’s newest efforts, which assists in developing non-regulatory conservation programs and promotes environmental education and pollution prevention.

“I’m very flattered to be chosen to receive this award,” said Gilliam. “I ride on the coat-tails of many dedicated citizen stewards and agency personnel.”
    Gilliam said the Foundation for Virginia’s Natural Resources aims to broaden and increase support for a healthy environment in Virginia. “We need collaboration from the business community, interested citizens, philanthropists and other natural resource groups. We’re all in this boat together,” he said.
    In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through volunteer service. He created USA Freedom Corps, an Office of the White House, to strengthen and expand volunteer service. Americans are responding to the president’s call to service.

    Go to or call 1-877-USA-CORPS to find an existing volunteer service opportunity in your area or to find more information about service programs, including national service programs such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Citizen Corps. USA Freedom Corps is also highlighting youth volunteer service. Visit for games and ideas to see how America's youth are making a difference.

    The president's Volunteer Service Award was created at the president’s direction by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. Individuals and organizations are nominated for their volunteer service over a 12-month period, specifically: for youth ages 14 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of volunteer service; individuals 15 and older who have completed 100 or more hours; and families or groups who have completed 200 or more hours. For more information about the award, please visit