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Placida, Florida Student Receives Presidential Environmental Youth Award


EPA is proud to award Alexander “Zander” Srodes of Placida, Fla. the Presidential Environmental Youth Award on Thursday, April 19, 2007 in Washington, D.C. Zander will meet EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson at a ceremony at the EPA Headquarters Office to receive his award. He is receiving the award for outstanding achievement by creating an environmental education program for his local community.

Zander began his “Turtle Talks” educational program in 2001 at the age of 11, after presenting his idea to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and receiving a Youth Grant to start the program. “Turtle Talks” is an educational discussion about the life of sea turtles and marine turtles in local estuaries. The program is illustrated with a biodegradable chart about shoreline protection and a turtle costume for audience members to wear.

More than 5,000 children have been educated on the lives and struggles of turtles by Zander’s numerous visits to local schools, libraries and public events. He has created his own 20-page activity book for children on sea turtles, even having it translated into Spanish. The activity book is currently in its fourth printing with more than 10,000 in circulation.

The President’s Environmental Youth Awards Program (PEYA) encourages individuals, school classes, schools, summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote local environmental awareness and to channel this awareness into positive community involvement. The program is open to all students from kindergarten through the 12th grade. For more information on PEYA, visit


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