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James H. Davis, Sunny Beaches, Corpus Christi, Texas - 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 James H. Davis, the President and Founder of Sunny Beaches of Corpus Christi, Texas, will receive a first place Gulf Guardian Award for 2005 in the Individual Category. 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.

James H. Davis founded, funded and continues to maintain Sunny Beaches, a Texas nonprofit corporation with the dual purpose of cleaning up the beaches in Kenedy, Kleberg, and Nueces counties, while offering young truancy offenders the opportunity to participate in the cleanup and fulfill their community service commitments. In 2004, the cleanups engaged 680 youths who collected 58 tons of marine debris, cleaned 58 miles of beach and earned 5,362 hours of community service. While doing these hands-on, bi-weekly beach cleanup operations, Davis is also joining forces with larger organizations to help eliminate marine debris from our beaches and ocean waters worldwide. As a survey director for the Ocean Conservancy's National Marine Debris Monitoring Program, Davis sponsors a scientific protocol performed every 28 days at two designated sites, tallying the amounts and types of marine debris collected, to help determine the common sources around the world.

"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.