EPA announces LSU College of the Coast & Environment as 1st Place 2019 Gulf Guardian Winner
Media contacts: Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard, [email protected] or 214 665-2200
DALLAS – (Sept. 26, 2019) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Division announced the Louisiana State University (LSU) College of the Coast & Environment as a 2nd Place Gulf Guardian winner for its EnvironMentors program to encourage interest in environmental stewardship and science careers among high school participants.
“The Gulf Guardian winners have shown a remarkable commitment to protecting a unique part of our nation that so many communities rely upon,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “By watching over a vital ecological, recreational, and economic hub, the EnvironMentors program at LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment is a guardian in every sense of the word.”
“Plentiful marine resources, pristine beaches and economic vitality make the Gulf of Mexico a national treasure worthy of protection and preservation,” said Acting Gulf of Mexico Division Director, Lakeshia Robertson. “The Gulf Guardian winners embody environmental stewardship; their efforts are creating a healthy and resilient Gulf for residents and tourists alike.”
Through EnviroMentors, LSU student volunteers mentor high schoolers on a year-long scientific research project. The program focuses on underprivileged young people who are typically underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Students who complete the program increase their likelihood of graduating from high school and pursuing higher education, and their projects address real-world issues. Recent topics include effects of human impacts on plankton species, pathogens in oysters, and removing phosphorus from LSU’s University Lake.
The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian awards in 2000 to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps 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 bi-national 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 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.
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