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Dr. Chuanmin Hu – University of South Florida (USF), Receives Second Place Gulf Guardian Award in the Individual Category

Release Date: 06/07/2013
Contact Information: William McBride, 404-562-8378 (direct), 404-562-8400 (main), mcbride.william@epa.gov

Stennis Space Center, MS – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced Dr. Chuanmin Hu – University of South Florida (USF) will receive a Second Place 2013 Gulf Guardian Award in the Individual Category. The awards ceremony will be held on June 26, 2013, at the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt beginning at 6PM.

Prof. Chuanmin Hu has contributed significantly to maintaining a healthy Gulf of Mexico in the past decade. These achievements include: 1) > 50 refereed articles on Gulf of Mexico water quality (e.g., oil spills) and algae blooms (e.g., red tides) to assist management decision support; 2) establishment of cutting-edge online tools, including a Virtual Antenna System (VAS) and a Virtual Buoy System (VBS), to share water quality information with various stakeholders in near real-time; 3) working with various state agencies and environmental groups to address water quality problems; 4) extensive education/outreach activity to increase public awareness of the Gulf of Mexico water quality state.

Professor Hu is truly motivated to help sustain a healthy Gulf. What is exceptional is that in addition to his normal duties at USF, he is dedicated to helping the community through education and outreach as well as through working with stakeholders and providing customized data products and timely information. Such information on red tides, Sargassum, and oil spills has helped various user groups to develop improved strategies to monitor or adapt to these events or mitigate their adverse impacts. The data products have also been useful in aiding numeric nutrient criteria development for coastal waters by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and EPA.

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. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: individual, business/industry, youth environmental education, civic/nonprofit organizations, cultural diversity/environmental justice, partnership and bi-national efforts.

“This year’s Gulf Guardian Award recipients are to be commended for providing environmental leadership to protect and restore one of our nation’s most treasured natural resources, the Gulf of Mexico. These Award recipients are true environmental stewards and protectors of this vital ecosystem,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator A. Stanley Meiburg.

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

Ben Scaggs, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program said, “Given all the incredible challenges that the Gulf has faced over the last several years and the work that has continued with strength and vigor despite what sometime seem like overwhelming obstacles, it is difficult to adequately and succinctly express the community value of the awards and the role they play in reminding us of what yet needs to be done while giving us all the energy and optimism to stay the course.”

For more information please contact, Dr. Chuanmin Hu, Phone: (727) 553-3987; or Email: huc@usf.edu

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Gulf Guardian Awards and the Gulf of Mexico Program, call the Gulf of Mexico Program Office at 228-688-3726 or visit our web site at http://www.epa.gov/gmpo.

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