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EPA Honors New Jersey Environmental Leaders

Release Date: 04/29/2011
Contact Information: Elizabeth Myer, (212) 637-3860, myer.elizabeth@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it has honored 10 individuals or organizations from New Jersey with Environmental Quality Awards for their achievements protecting public health and the environment. EPA also recognized a student from Delanco Township who is one of ten students selected from across the country to receive the President’s Environmental Youth Award. EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck was joined by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez to present the awards to this year’s recipients at a ceremony at EPA’s offices in Manhattan.

“These honorees work tirelessly to protect the environment and to ensure that all of us can look forward to a cleaner, healthier world,” said Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “We can all be proud of what they have accomplished and the example they set.”

EPA presents Environmental Quality Awards annually in conjunction with Earth Day to individuals, businesses and organizations in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally-recognized Indian Nations. The awards recognize significant contributions to improving the environment and public health in the previous calendar year. For information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/.

EPA’s annual President’s Environmental Youth Award program encourages young people to study the environment and better understand their relationship to it. The national competition is open to students from kindergarten through 12th grade who actively participate in noteworthy environmental projects. Out of the hundreds of competitors, one winner is chosen from each of EPA’s 10 regions and several others are chosen to receive honorable mentions. For more information on the program, visit http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/peya/index.html.

Attached is a list of the award winners.

2011 ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AWARD WINNERS

Individual Citizen
Jane Nogaki, Marlton
Jane Nogaki has been an environmental advocate in New Jersey for over 30 years, where her involvement has ranged from helping to establish mercury reduction policies to solving local pollution problems. Ms. Nogaki worked with the pest control industry to pass a state-wide law requiring integrated pest management trainings, as well as with Rutgers University and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to train over 5,000 school facility managers and principals. Currently, she is striving for the adoption of state policy that will make all New Jersey schools, parks and daycare centers “pesticide free zones.”

Andrea Ferich, Camden
Andrea Ferich is the Director of the Camden Center for Environmental Transformation, an organization created by the Heart of Camden. Founded in 1996, the Center works on environmental justice issues in the Waterfront South section of Camden City. Ms Ferich’s accomplishments with the Center include engaging in real working relationships with longtime Waterfront South businesses to create solutions to pollution issues as well as the creation of several urban gardens that are used for educational purposes and which provide access to fresh produce to the children and families in Camden.

Carol Johnston, Newark
As an active community member from the Ironbound District of Newark, Carol Johnston has been part of countless environmental initiatives. She is co-chair of the Passaic River Community Advisory Group, was one of the principal architects of the Ironbound Master Plan, the Ironbound Recreation and Open Space Plan and the Gateway Park Plan. Further, she was instrumental in bringing the Superfund Jobs Training Initiative to the Diamond Alkali Superfund site cleanup effort. Carol takes every opportunity to advocate on behalf of the poor, the disadvantaged and those without a voice.

Press and Media
Kirk Moore, Tuckerton
Kirk Moore’s coverage of the environmental issues facing the Barnegat Bay for the Asbury Park Press served as a foundation for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s 10 point action plan for the Barnegat Bay in December, 2010. His week-long newspaper series “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” and subsequent news pieces, prompted numerous calls to the Asbury Park Press from individuals offering help and asking to be notified of educational and volunteer opportunities. In response to public concern, local legislators and decision-makers focused their efforts on legislation and other initiatives to achieve real improvements for the Barnegat Bay.

Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government or Agency
Ocean County Soil Conservation District, Forked River
Ocean County Soil Conservation District’s (OCSCD) involvement in conservation has expanded over the years and presently has a strong focus on education and public outreach programs and the research and development of techniques to improve soil health and water quality. As an active member of the New Jersey Natural Resources Program, OCSCD has established itself as an integral part of local and regional conservation initiatives, ranging from stormwater basin restorations to rain, garden and outdoor classroom development.

Non-Profit Organization, Environmental or Community Group
Sustainable Jersey, Ewing
Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in the state that want to go green and sustain their quality of life. Currently 57 percent of towns in New Jersey have registered to become certified, 67 municipalities have received certification, and 49 towns completed energy audits for municipal buildings. Additionally, over half a million dollars have been distributed by Sustainable Jersey to New Jersey communities to support local sustainable projects.

Oyster Research and Restoration Project
In 2010, a special partnership of scientists, non-profit groups and government agencies began the first stage of a research effort to determine if oysters can once again flourish in the New York Harbor. This partnership, led by the Hudson River Foundation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NY/NJ Baykeeper, the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program and the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, has worked to develop a multi-phase plan to address the question of where and how sustainable oyster populations can be reintroduced in the New York Harbor and Lower Hudson.

The Musconetcong Watershed Association, Asbury
The Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of the Musconetcong River Watershed and its natural and cultural resources through public education, water monitoring, sustainable land management and community involvement. MWA is at the forefront of removing obsolete dams that impede water flow, degrade water quality, and block fish passage, and has been instrumental in the removal of two such dams. Furthermore, their River Resource Center is the first U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified building in Warren County.

Bayshore Discovery Project, Port Norris
Bayshore Discovery Project (BDP) began as an initiative to renovate a Delaware Bay oyster schooner. The goal was to motivate people to take care of the environment, history, and culture of New Jersey’s Bayshore region through education, preservation, and example. This year they began the final phase of restoration to their historic shipping sheds, which will house a developing Delaware Bay Museum and Folklife center, and which will use sustainable appliances. In 2010 alone, BDP reached approximately 45,505 people through programming efforts.

Non-Profit Organization / Business Partnership
Rock and Wrap it Up!
The New Jersey Devils
Syd Mandelbaum founded the non-profit organization Rock and Wrap It Up! as a means to recover food for agencies fighting poverty. The organization collects prepared but untouched meals following rock concerts, sporting events and school functions, and delivers them to local food banks and charitable agencies. Since 2010, Mr. Mandelbaum has worked with the Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils hockey clubs. Following the Rock and Wrap it Up! Sports Wrap! model, over 11,000 meals have been recovered through the efforts of these hockey teams, keeping four tons of solid waste out of landfills and 29,333 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere.


2011 PRESIDENT’S ENVIRONMENTAL YOUTH AWARD WINNER
Miranda Pawline
In 2008, Miranda Pawline founded D.R.O.P. (Delanco Recycles Our Plastic) Bags, a program designed to recover plastic bags and recycle or reuse them. Because plastic bags are not part of the Delanco Township public recycling program, Miranda set up drop-off sites for plastic bags. Thanks to her initiative, recycling buckets are now located in township schools, as well as the town library and municipal building. To raise awareness about the program, Miranda advised residents through notices, the local paper and on the township website.

For more details, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa

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