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Shell Exploration and Production Company Receives First Place Gulf Guardian Award in the Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity 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 Shell Exploration and Production Company will receive a First Place 2013 Gulf Guardian Award in the Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity Category for their “Saving a Vanishing Culture” Project. The awards ceremony will be held on June 26, 2013, at the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt beginning at 6PM.

Isle de Jean Charles, “Saving a Vanishing Culture” has successfully created over 1,500 linear feet of protective “Recycled Shoreline” called Floating Islands. This protects the ONLY road linking two historic Louisiana Native American tribal communities to the main land. It also helps sustain and enhance coastal protection, fisheries and habitat in a region that is devastated by hurricanes, flooding and coastal erosion.

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 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 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 Ed Landgraf, Phone: (985) 209-4753 or Email: Ed.landgraf@shell.com.

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.

Connect with EPA Region 4 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/eparegion4

And on Twitter: @USEPASoutheast

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