News Releases from Region 6
Jim Morrison of Freeport, Texas 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 Mr. Jim Morrison of Freeport, Texas will receive a Gulf Guardian Award for 2011 in the Individual Category for his work on the State of Texas’ Artificial Reef Program. 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.
The State of Texas Artificial Reef Program and its successful public/private partnerships simply would not exist without the twenty-five year effort and continuing dedication of Jim Morrison. To date, his efforts have resulted in over thirteen million dollars of donations to the Texas Artificial Reef Program, and created acres of offshore underwater habitat. Mr. Morrison was instrumental in the passing of the Texas Artificial Reef Bill in 1989, creating the additional funding needed to accomplish a world class Artificial Reef Program. The full impact of these artificial reef sites hasn’t been fully appreciated, except for the divers and fisherman who have benefited from these enhancements to the environment. One species, the Red Snapper, has been monitored over the course of the program and has increased in population according to the Marine Fisheries Program. These vital underwater reefs will be studied by Universities as well as divers from Texas and around the world and will be enjoyed by future generations of fisherman and undersea explorers. Mr. Morrison believes that the best way to understand the Gulf of Mexico and its inhabitants is to personally fish or dive offshore Texas and enjoy witnessing the environment today. He says that more needs to be done to promote this undersea world to schools, the general public and the world.
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 awards 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.