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EPA selects Ohio youth for Presidential Environmental Youth Award
Release Date: 4/21/2005
Phillippa Cannon, (312) 353-6218
Jessica McIntyre-Himes, (312) 353-8559
For Immediate Release
CHICAGO (Apr. 21, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has selected Karoline "Evin" McMullen of Chesterland, Ohio, Angela Primbas of Concord, Ohio; and Amanda Weatherhead of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, as regional winners of the President's Environmental Youth Award. Winners from each of EPA's 10 regions were recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., April 21.
2005 PEYA Winners - Click on the photo for a larger image.
When Evin, Angela and Amanda discovered that a 12,000-year-old population of brook trout was endangered because of toxic runoff in the Chagrin River watershed, the girls created "Save Our Streams." This was an education awareness plan developed to teach the public how they could help protect the watershed, further ensuring the survival of the brook trout. The girls informed residents of the importance of the brook trout species and asked area residents to sign pledges to reduce point-source pollution in their yards. They also posted warning stickers on storm drains reminding residents anything dumped in the sewers winds up in the local streams.
"The 'Save our Streams' project demonstrates how making small changes in the daily household routine can have dramatic, far-reaching effects on the environment and wildlife," said Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur.
EPA Region 5 also recognized these finalists:
First runner-up: Out of concern for their endangered state bird, sisters Sara and Jessica Otto of Mukwonago, Wis., raised more than $330 in change from their classmates for their "Change for Cranes" effort to adopt 11 cranes. The "Change for Cranes" movement has since reached other neighboring schools and the girls have expanded their educational outreach to include facts not only about cranes, but also about wetlands preservation. As recipients of the Born Heroes Award, the girls presented their cash winnings to the International Crane Foundation for a new exhibit.
Second runner-up: While electronic equipment is not banned from landfills, the Rhodes School Recycling Team in River Grove, Ill. initiated a recycling project for such electronics. This was implemented after the team discovered that a variety of toxic materials such as cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium are found in electronic equipment and if not disposed of properly, can harm humans and the environment. Following Carnegie Mellon University's Green Design initiative, the Rhodes Recycling Team collaborated with the community and rescued more than 76 tons of material from the landfill and prevented 14,000-16,500 pounds of lead from entering the waste stream.
The President's Environmental Youth Awards program is a national contest sponsored annually by EPA to honor creative environmental projects developed and carried out by elementary and high school students. Today's awards recognized projects completed during the 2003-2004 school year. To learn more about the awards go to http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/peya2004.html
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