Two former North Beach High School students from Ocean Shores were honored by the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner the week prior to Earth Day 1999 with the President’s Environmental Youth Award for their outstanding contributions to the environment. Julija Rankis, Ocean Shores, and Laiva Thomasson, Bellingham, were recognized for their development of the Hyak Cyberlake Trail Project. The award, signed by President Clinton, was presented at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C.’s Old Executive Office Building.
Project History: In 1995 five high school freshman begin the Hyak Cyberlake Trail Project when they were selected to participate in a University of Washington summer science camp. The students built an education/research/ecotourism trail and conducted experiments on the freshwater lake and wetland which lies on the peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Grays Harbor. The final construction phase of the trail is an environmentally friendly pontoon bridge that is part of a Quinault Indian Nation mitigation project.
The students designed the project, obtained permits, raised funds, and organized work parties. Their website, featuring the research notes and drawings, was selected by the Discovery Chanel as an online connection for their Animal Planet CD-ROM. The website can be visited at http://www.techline.com/~nbcrow.
Award winners visit with Senator Patty Murray.
From right: Ken Loomis (Sponsor), Senator Patty Murray,
Jeff Philip (EPA Representative), Laiva Thomasson, Julija Rankis
The President’s Environmental Youth Award applications are accepted year-round. The program encourages youth groups and individuals (K-12) to create projects which promote environmental awareness and positive community involvement. To request an application, call (206) 553-1200.
To find out more about the program on a national level, link to http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/awards.html