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National Aeronautical and Space Administration DEVELOP National Program Receives Second Place Gulf Guardian Award in the Partnership 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 National Aeronautical & Space Administration (NASA) DEVELOP National Program will receive a Second Place 2013 Gulf Guardian Award in the Partnership Category for its Louisiana Ecological Forecasting: Utilizing NASA Satellite Data to Assist in Determining Ideal Planting Locations for Bottomland Hardwood Trees in St. Bernard Parish, LA. The awards ceremony will be held on June 26, 2013, at the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt beginning at 6PM.

NASA DEVELOP is a capacity-building program engaging students to utilize NASA Earth observations to address community environmental concerns. DEVELOP interns at NASA’s Stennis Space Center established a partnership with local nonprofit organizations to provide analysis and recommendations for suitable planting sites for bald cypress trees in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. As a result, partners are currently using this analysis, instead of their previous subjective methods, to direct the spring 2013 planting of 6,000 saplings. Through this ongoing collaboration, DEVELOP and partners are discussing including results in the Parish’s master plan and extending the methodology to determine mangroves planting sites.

“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 Guardian Award winners have made great achievements in restoring and protecting freshwater and marine ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico watershed," said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "EPA is pleased to recognize their collaborative work in providing solutions to coastal habitats and communities."

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.

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, Lindsay Rogers, Phone: (757) 864-7283; or Email: Lindsay.M.Rogers@nasa.gov; Jason Jones, Phone (228) 688-2099; or Email: Jason.B.Jones@nasa.gov; Lauren Childs, Phone (757) 864-4204 or Email: Lauren.M.Childs@nasa.gov

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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