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EPA Honors Environmental Advocates for Exemplary Work; An Individual and a Business in Virgin Islands Recognized for Environmental Accomplishments

Release Date: 05/05/2000
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(#00079) New York, New York – As part of its celebration of the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored one individual and a business from the U.S. Virgin Islands for their diligent work to protect the environment and human health. Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator presented the winners with EPA Environmental Quality Awards at a ceremony held today at the Nature Conservancy Little Princess Estate. Ms. Fox also presented last year’s Environmental Quality Award recipients with their plaques.

"The Environmental Quality Awards are EPA’s way of taking its hat off to those who work the hardest to preserve and protect our environment and public health. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Earth Day and look back on 30 years of environmental progress, these winners remind us that environmental protection is about more than laws, regulations and standards. Environmental protection is also about individual gumption and dedication," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Region 2 Administrator. "The unwavering commitment of these Virgin Islanders to making our world a better place should serve as an example to us all."

EPA Region 2 presents Environmental Quality Awards annually to individuals, nonprofit groups, educators, businesspeople, government officials and journalists from New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of the environment in the Region. Winners are chosen by a panel of EPA employees who review nominations submitted from inside and outside the Agency.

Winners of the 2000 Environmental Quality Awards from the U.S. Virgin Islands are:

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Coral World Marine Park & Undersea Observatory, Coki Point, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Coral World Marine Park and Undersea Observatory at Coki Point in St. Thomas provides unmatched environmental model for educating the public about the natural marine resources of the Virgin Islands. This unique marine park sets a standard for the rest of the Caribbean to emulate. In addition to providing the public with a way to see and appreciate marine life and to understand its importance to the U.S. Virgin Islands and to the world, the park does its part to preserve the environment. They have an extensive energy conservation program that has yielded a near 50% reduction in energy use, an on-site storm water filtration system that reduces silt runoff to the coastal waters and extensive marine conservation programs to protect both flora and fauna.

INDIVIDUAL

Olasee Davis, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Mr. Davis has earned the respect of the Virgin Islands people as a stalwart in the field of environmental conservation. He has commanded national and international attention for the Virgin Islands through his commendable works in research and education geared toward understanding the environment. He is an avid promoter of preservation and natural heritage. Mr. Davis worked tirelessly to prevent development of the Great Pond Bay area on the Island of St. Croix. His research, testimony and unwavering commitment to preserve the valuable natural resources of St. Croix were instrumental in the decision to discontinue the proposed development of the area. Mr. Davis also publishes a weekly compilation of educational articles on the environment that appear in the Territory’s newspapers.

Winners of the 1999 Environmental Quality Award:

Sherry Teitelman and Errol Chichester, St Croix Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission

Sherry and Errol have made waste reduction in the Virgin Islands their top priority. Along with the Commission, they have developed a Neighborhood Composting Program with a series of workshops for residents on the benefits of composting and how to use a composting bin. Thanks to their work, several schools in the Virgin Islands have begun composting programs. Sherry and Errol and the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission have also promoted recycling of metals and plastics. Ms. Teitelman uses her weekly column in the St. Croix Avis to spread the word about the benefits of waste reduction.