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Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Receives GULF GUARDIAN AWARD


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Baton Rouge, Louisiana will receive a first place Gulf Guardian Award for 2007 in the Government Category, for their “Integrated Ecosystem Restoration and Hurricane Protection: LA Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast”. The awards will be presented during the 2007 Clean Gulf Conference on November 14, 2007 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Bayside Ballroom in Tampa, Florida beginning at 6 p.m.

For the first time in Louisiana history, the state has a comprehensive master plan that integrates coastal restoration and hurricane protection for sustaining Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. To develop this plan, the state first created the Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority (CPRA) in December 2005 with authority to articulate a clear statement of priorities and focus development and implementation efforts. In a remarkable 18-month public process, lead by the expertise of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation and Development and other state agencies, Louisiana now speaks with one clear voice for the future of Louisiana’s coast.

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.

“Gulf Guardian awards showcase accomplishments from a broad spectrum of environmental leaders -- from committed individuals to dynamic corporations,” EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. “I applaud their success in preserving the vital resources of the Gulf Coast, one of our most valuable national treasures.”

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 “This is the 8th year of 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. The 2007 award winners truly exemplify the bond that enthusiastic and committed citizens, communities, governments, and businesses share in addressing complex problems to improve, protect, and sustain our regional and national treasure, the Gulf of Mexico.”


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