US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Galveston Bay Foundation Receives Second Place Gulf Guardian Award in the Civic/Non Profit Category

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DALLAS -- The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) will receive a Second Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Civic/Non Profit Category. The awards ceremony will be held on July 30, 2015, at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“The Gulf of Mexico is a precious natural resource not only to the communities that thrive on its shores but to communities far away that rely on its bounty,” said Ron Curry, EPA regional administrator. “Gulf Guardians play an important role in reminding all of us about our shared responsibility in protecting our Gulf.”

“This is the 13th year if the Gulf Guardian Awards Program, and I am proud to say that each year the winners in all categories have represented the very best of environmental accomplishments in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Diane Altsman, Chief of Staff of the Gulf of Mexico Program. “The Gulf of Mexico Program partnership works to improve the environmental health of the Gulf, and the Gulf Guardian Awards is an important way for us to recognize these valuable efforts.”

Founded in 1987 by citizens concerned about the impact of several large projects on Galveston Bay, GBF is a nonprofit organization on the upper Texas coast with the mission to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural resources of Galveston Bay for present users and for posterity. Through 28 years of service, GBF’s strength has been its ability to balance diverse interests to address issues and concerns related to Galveston Bay. Its programs in advocacy, conservation, education, and research work to ensure Galveston Bay remains a beautiful and productive place for generations to come. Though GBF focuses its work locally within the counties surrounding Galveston Bay, affiliations with national groups like Restore America’s Estuaries, Great Waters Coalition, River Network, and Land Trust Alliance position them to affect change for the Bay and Gulf Coast at the national level.

GBF has noted many accomplishments in 2014, such as managing the first implementation of the national Incident Command System’s Volunteer Coordination Work Plan during the Texas City Oil Spill. This earned the organization a Certificate of Merit from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard. GBF served as a prime source for spill-related news, by educating boaters about the dangers of dumping wastes into the bay, as well as continued efforts to inform the public about the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund Site process and the bay’s seafood consumption advisories. In addition, recently GBF debuted the Galveston Bay Action Network, an application allowing the public to map pollution concerns/sightings and directly report them to enforcement agencies. The application was used when the U.S. Coast Guard requested GBF manage volunteers during Galveston Bay’s March 2014 oil spill. Under the Sentinel Program, for a period of 17 days, GBF managed over 230 volunteers walking approximately 100 miles of beach and reporting tar balls, oiled seaweed, and deceased wildlife.

In addition, as one of just nine accredited land trusts in Texas, GBF works on water quality, water quantity, conservation, and habitat issues. One of GBF’s greatest assets is its strong collaboration with partners working on behalf of a healthy bay. With over 3,000 members, GBF represents a true cross-section of bay interests, and its programs/projects are driven by advisory committees comprised of representatives from federal, state and local governments; corporate groups; and environmental groups.

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

For more information about EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program: http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/

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