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The BUG (Beneficial Uses Group) Receives GULF GUARDIAN AWARD


STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Port of Houston Authority will receive a third place Gulf Guardian Award for 2007 in the Partnership Category for the “The BUG (Beneficial Uses Group)”. 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.

The Beneficial Uses Group (BUG) is one of several subcommittees formed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Interagency Coordination Team (ICT) to address environmental issues associated with the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels (HGNC) expansion project. Created in 1990, the BUG is an unprecedented coalition of the following 8 federal and state government agencies: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Galveston District, Port of Houston Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas General Land Office. The BUG was given the specific goal of identifying environmentally and economically responsible ways to utilize the material dredged from the Houston Ship Channel expansion project since open water disposal was no longer permitted in the Galveston Bay. Early on, the BUG held numerous meetings with Galveston Bay users and interest groups. In the fall of 1992, the BUG presented a conceptual plan (known as the BUG Plan) to build wildlife habitats with the material dredged from the Houston Ship Channel. The Plan was adopted by the ICT and received unanimous support from all federal and state resource agencies.

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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