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The Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health 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 the Gulf Coast Fund of New Orleans, Louisiana will receive a Gulf Guardian Award for 2011 in the new Cultural Diversity/Environmental Justice 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.

The Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health is a community-led philanthropy founded in September 2005 in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It works to galvanize resources and support Gulf Coast communities and grassroots organizations to build a just and sustainable future for the region. The Gulf Coast Fund has distributed grants to over 200 community and grassroots organizations, and is the only philanthropic initiative in the region run collaboratively with Gulf Coast communities. At its core is a community Advisory Group consisting of leading advocates, experts, and grassroots organizers from across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. These Advisors play a central role in forming the Fund’s priorities and policies and in directing the Fund’s resources. The Gulf Coast Fund is dedicated to empowering the historically disenfranchised communities in the region and creating a civil society infrastructure that can work collaboratively and strategically for social change and community betterment. In addition to grant support, the Fund provides opportunities for grantees to forge networks, make new connections, strengthen relationships, and increase the capacity and effectiveness of community organizations.

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.

For more information regarding the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health, you may contact Barbara Nonas and LaTosha Brown (504) 522-2423 Barbara@gulfcoastfund.org

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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