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Jim Gossen, President and CEO of Louisiana Foods Receives Gulf Guardian Award

Release Date: 06/09/2011
Contact Information: Gulf of Mexico Program Office at 228-688-3726 or www.epa.gov/gmpo

(STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – June 9, 2011) – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that Jim Gossen, President and CEO of Louisiana Foods of Houston, Texas will receive a Gulf Guardian Award for 2011 in the Individual category. The Awards ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Meeting on August 3, 2011, beginning at 6 p.m in the Ballroom at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place in New Orleans.

Native to Louisiana with Cajun roots, Jim Gossen has been an innovative and tireless leader for the recovery of and improved sustainability of the Gulf’s seafood industry. Working for the industry as President and CEO of Louisiana Foods of Houston, Texas, he has supported the diverse cultural heritage of the seafood industry, promoted sustainable fisheries through innovative marketing, and has been as ambassador for the regions fisherman. Jim has put forward a vision of a healthy environment going hand in hand with productive fisheries. He has been instrumental to the innovative Louisiana Foods Total Catch Program, which promotes the use of the entire catch to reduce wasteful by-catch. This has included a recent effort to market oyster drills, an important predator of oysters that inflicts enormous damage to the oyster fishery. Jim is a founding member of Foodways Texas, an organization that promotes the cultural importance of the Gulf and the food that surrounds that culture. By supporting the diverse cultural heritage of the Gulf seafood industry, Jim has helped educate the public about the importance of the Gulf environment as both an economic engine and a home to diverse cultures. Jim is an Ambassador for the Gulf Region and has been increasing a sense of stewardship amongst the Gulf fishermen, wholesalers, chefs and the general public.

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. A first, second, and third place award are given in seven categories: individual, business, youth environmental education, civic/nonprofit organizations, cultural diversity/environmental justice, partnership and bi-national efforts.

"The Gulf Guardian Award winners demonstrate great examples of collaborative efforts leading to solutions that address the Gulf of Mexico environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. "Their accomplishments are making a positive difference in protecting and restoring the Gulf and EPA is pleased to recognize their environmental stewardship."

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.

Gloria Car, Acting Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program said, “This is the 11th year of the Gulf Guardian Awards Program, and I am proud to say that each year the winners in all categories have represented the very best of environmental accomplishments in the Gulf of Mexico. The partnership of the Gulf of Mexico Program works to improve the environmental health of the Gulf, and the Gulf Guardian Awards is an important way for us to recognize these valuable efforts. The 2011 award winners truly exemplify the enthusiastic and committed citizens, communities, governments, and businesses who address complex problems to improve, protect, and sustain our regional and national treasure, the Gulf of Mexico.

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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