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ConocoPhillips Lower 48 Philanthropic Program Receives Gulf Guardian Award For Their Support to National Estuary Program

Release Date: 09/03/2009
Contact Information: Gulf of Mexico Program Office at 228-688-3726

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that ConocoPhillips Lower 48 Philanthropic Program of Houston, Texas will receive a second place Gulf Guardian Award for 2009 in the Business Category. The 2009 Gulf Guardians hold a special significance this year as they will be awarded on the 10th Anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico Program’s Gulf Guardian Awards Program! (2000-2009). The ceremony will be held on the evening of October 29, 2009, beginning at approximately 6 p.m in the Magnolia Ballroom at the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. The Awards ceremony is being held in conjunction with the Oceans `09 International Conference.

Beginning several years ago, the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP) fostered a partnership with ConocoPhillips to educate birders across the country to the plight of Louisiana’s wetlands as well as the importance of these wetlands to migratory birds. To accomplish this, several calendars were produced, each focusing on a different group of birds. The first of the three calendars was entitled “Wings Over the Wetlands…Louisiana’s Waders” that highlighted the significance of our state’s wading birds and the potential impacts of the 2005 hurricane season. The second calendar was entitled “Louisiana Raptors…Birds of Prey”. This calendar focused on the state’s diurnal raptors and how Louisiana lies along important migratory routes for many of these species. The third calendar entitled “Breeding Wood Warblers” highlighted those warblers that nest across the state. These beautiful and educational calendars were sent to thousands of people across this country free of charge. This was done through the financial support of ConocoPhillips Lower 48 Philanthropic Program. After these calendars were distributed; both BTNEP and ConocoPhillips received hundreds of emails and letters thanking them for these calendars. They have not only educated people about Louisiana’s coastal land loss crisis and the birds that depend upon this habitat, but also promoted avian tourism for the state.

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. A first, second, and third place award are given each year in seven categories individual, business, youth and education, nonprofit organizations, government, partnership and bi-national efforts.

"The Gulf Guardian Awards recognize the positive efforts to protect the important natural resources the Gulf of Mexico holds. The Gulf provides critical habitat for wildlife, recreation and commerce for humans, protection for inland communities, and so much more," said Acting Regional Administrator Lawrence Starfield of EPA Region 6. "By preserving this vital resource, this year's winners are gaining benefits for all Americans."

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.

Bryon Griffith, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program said, “The Gulf Guardian Awards Program is in its 10th year of honoring citizens, governments and businesses throughout the 5 State Gulf Region for outstanding environmental achievements. Our 2009 award winners are truly an inspiration and exemplify the high quality of projects being done that generate as much excitement and pride as the award winners did in the beginning. With the addition of the Binational Gulf Guardian award in 2005, we now appropriately pay tribute to the bond we share in protecting this treasured resource with our southern neighbors and friends.”

For a list of all the Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2009, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program web site at and click on the Gulf Guardian Award button.

Editor’s Note: 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 or visit our web site at