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Captain Jayson Horadam Of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Receives GULF GUARDIAN AWARD

Release Date: 09/08/2009
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that Captain Jayson Horadam of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission in Naples, Florida will receive a second place Gulf Guardian Award for 2009 in the Individual Category. The 2009 Gulf Guardians hold a special significance this year as they will be awarded on the 10th Anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico Program’s Gulf Guardian Awards Program! (2000-2009). The ceremony will be held on the evening of October 29, 2009, beginning at approximately 6 p.m in the Magnolia Ballroom at the Beau Rivage Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. The Awards ceremony is being held in conjunction with the Oceans `09 International Conference.

Captain Jayson Horadam serves as a Captain in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. After transferring to Collier County in Southwest Florida in 2005 from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Jayson has demonstrated outstanding leadership in establishing a cooperative network of marine law enforcement personnel from federal, state, and local agencies within the region. His commitment to the environment and to effective communication has served as a catalyst for transforming traditional law enforcement into a collaborative partnership designed to educate citizens about the values of the Gulf coast, while strengthening enforcement through increased sharing of information and limited resources. Jayson has led the development of regional training forums for local enforcement officers, including workshops on the enforcement of the Florida ban on use of inshore nets, and cross training for federal and state officers.

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 each year in seven categories – individual, business, youth and education, nonprofit organizations, government, partnership and bi-national efforts.

Stanley Meiburg, Acting Regional Administrator of U.S. EPA Region 4 said, "The Gulf of Mexico is a priceless treasure. As a unique habitat, a place which gives pleasure to countless Americans, and a source of some of our most valuable resources, it has no equal. These Gulf Guardians who labor to protect and enhance this magnificent sea deserve our highest praise and thanks."

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.

Bryon Griffith, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program said, “The Gulf Guardian Awards Program is in its 10th year of honoring citizens, governments and businesses throughout the 5 State Gulf Region for outstanding environmental achievements. Our 2009 award winners are truly an inspiration and exemplify the high quality of projects being done that generate as much excitement and pride as the award winners did in the beginning. With the addition of the Binational Gulf Guardian award in 2005, we now appropriately pay tribute to the bond we share in protecting this treasured resource with our southern neighbors and friends.”

For a list of all the Gulf Guardian Award winners for 2009, visit the Gulf of Mexico Program web site at http://www.epa.gov/gmpo and click on the Gulf Guardian Award button.

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.