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EPA’s top leader presents commendation to Erie man for environmental volunteerism


Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson presented Erie resident Edward Kissell with the President’s Volunteer Service Award today for his outstanding work to improve public health and create a healthier environment.

Kissell received the award for dedicating himself to several environmental efforts including improving the water quality of Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay, preserving native fish species and encouraging environmental education.

“Today we recognize Edward Kissell for answering President Bush’s call to serve a cause greater than himself,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Dedicated volunteers like Mr. Kissell inspire others to join in delivering America a brighter, healthier future.”

One of Kissell’s more unique accomplishments involved starting up a program at the Erie County Library where people can check out a fishing rod and tackle just like a book. He serves as president of the environmental group Save Our Native Species (SONS), and is an advocate and public watchdog for free public access to the entire Pennsylvania shore of Lake Erie. He also initiated an effort to place 100 fish habitat structures in Presque Isle Bay and partnered with the Pennsylvania Fish Commission to sponsor the Fish for Free Days where children and adults are taught how to fish. Currently chairman of the Erie County Coastal Zone Management Steering Committee, Kissell is also a member of the Erie County Environmental Coalition, and serves on various Erie County watershed committees.

In his January 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through volunteer service. The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteerism. More information on the President’s Volunteer Service Award is available at


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