Dr. Patrick M. Burchfield of Brownsville, Texas Receives GULF GUARDIAN AWARD
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that Dr. Patrick M. Burchfield of the Gladys Porter Zoo located in Brownsville, Texas will receive a first place Gulf Guardian Award for 2007 in the Individual Category. 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.
Dr. Burchfield has been the single driving force in the Rancho Nuevo Sea Turtle Project for over two decades and has raised awareness for all endangered species as well as exotics illegally smuggled in and out of Mexico. His work at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville includes the rehabilitation of animals for the illegal pet trade, seized at the border. His work spearheading the Kemp’s Ridley project for the USFWS has resulted in the unprecedented return of that species. Pat’s time is precariously divided between his role as Deputy-Director of the zoo, a senior PI on the Kemp’s Ridley project, and his family. Pat is in Mexico almost as much as he is home and without his dedication, the Kemp’s Ridley would likely have been forgotten.
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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