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EPA Announces Gulf Guardian Award

DALLAS – (April 27, 2022) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Division announced the Gulf of Mexico and Seagrass Community of Practice as the recipients of the Gulf Guardian Award. For four years, GOMA and the CoP have collaborated to identify information needs, management applications and best practices related to seagrass monitoring, conservation and restoration.

“The work of protecting and enhancing the Gulf of Mexico goes well beyond the coast, reaching much of the central United States through the Mississippi River Basin,” said Regional Administrator Earthea Nance. “This year’s Gulf Guardian Award winners reflect the diverse ways people can help and their passion for making a difference. Congratulations to the winners and for all they do to protect this precious natural resource.

“The Gulf of Mexico is a vulnerable ecosystem that requires innovative approaches and proactive measures to protect this national resource. Over the past two years, Gulf Guardian Award winners have continued to think outside the box under difficult circumstances due to COVID-19. These Gulf Guardian Awards are an important way to recognize the valuable efforts of all their hard work to protect the environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Marc Wyatt, Gulf of Mexico Division Director.

“The GOMA Seagrass Monitoring CoP acts as a bridge between scientists and managers to encourage collaboration and implementation of actionable science across the Gulf,” said Scientist Emeritus Lawrence Handley. “The GOMA Seagrass Monitoring CoP has initiated a tiered approach to seagrass monitoring, which continues to provide support for the implementation of seagrass monitoring in the Gulf.”

Since its creation in 2017, the CoP has been active in gathering expertise, identifying information priorities, synthesizing existing needs and coordinating with Gulf scientists and resource managers. This was accomplished through workshops, expert webinars, as well as numerous group meetings and calls. These efforts resulted in a series of reports, including the 2017 Needs Assessment Workshop Report, a dynamic inventory of online citations, guidance documents, and the Status and Gulf of Mexico trends for 2020. Established network of experts communicating regularly in the region and coordinating project activities.

The Gulf of Mexico Program launched the Gulf Guardian Awards in 2000 to recognize and honor businesses, community groups, individuals and agencies that take positive action to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: Individual, Business/Industry, Youth Environmental Education, Civic/Nonprofit Organizations, Cultural Diversity/Environmental Justice, Partnership and Binational Efforts.

The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in an economically sustainable manner. 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 from the business and agricultural community, fisheries, scientists, conservationists and community leaders from the five Gulf States. The Gulf Program aims to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development.

For more information on the US EPA Gulf Division, visit our Web page.

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