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EPA Region 2 Administrator Jane M. Kenny Honors Environmental Achievements in Puerto Rico

Release Date: 04/30/2002
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(#02032) New York, New York -- As part of the celebration of Earth Day, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 Administrator Jane M. Kenny presented 17 awards today to New Yorkers for their outstanding contributions to a better environment and the protection of human health. Region 2 Administrator Kenny presented EPA’s Environmental Quality Awards and the President’s Environmental Youth Awards at a ceremony held today at EPA’s offices in Manhattan. Robert D. Yaro, President of the Regional Plan Association also spoke at today’s event.

“When you get right down to it, protecting the environment is a job for everybody. And it is a job for every day,” said EPA Region 2 Administrator Jane M. Kenny. “Whether it is a recycling paper or taking public transit or keeping the thermostat low in the winter, each of us makes decisions every day that have a direct impact on our environment.”

The Environmental Quality Awards are EPA’s way of taking its hat off to those who work the hardest to preserve and protect our environment and public health. The President’s Environmental Youth Awards recognize the outstanding environmental achievements of young people.

EPA Region 2 presents the Environmental Quality Awards annually to individuals, nonprofit groups, educators, business representatives, government officials and media representatives from New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of the environment in the region. Winners are chosen by a panel of EPA employees who review nominations submitted from inside and outside the Agency.

The winner of the 2002 Environmental Quality Awards from the U.S. Virgin Islands is:

Environmental Education

Mayra Suarez-Velez

University of the Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Working from the belief that what we learn to appreciate as children stays with us for life, Ms. Suarez-Velez of the U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service has focused on educating Island children about caring for their local environment. Under her leadership, the Service created a comic book with the theme of preventing water pollution, a coloring book on marine conservation and an interactive model that teaches about the effects of nonpoint-source pollution. She also conducted 20 student workshops and five teacher workshops centered on their self-produced marine education materials. The Service also organized a public-education campaign with the theme “Have You Been Ocean Friendly Today?” and a boaters awareness project about pollution-control practices.