DALLAS — The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced awardees for the 2015 Gulf Guardian Awards, according to a press release.

“The Gulf of Mexico is a precious natural resource not only to the communities that thrive on its shores, but to communities far away that rely on its bounty,” said Ron Curry, EPA regional administrator, in the release. “Gulf Guardians play an important role in reminding all of us about our shared responsibility in protecting our Gulf.”

“This is the 13th year if 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,” shared Diane Altsman, chief of staff of the Gulf of Mexico Program, in the release. “The Gulf of Mexico Program partnership 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.”

Recipients include:

  • Coastal and Marine Operations (CAMO) Group, Second Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Business and Industry Category
  • Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), Second Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Partnerships Category
  • Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing, Inc, (BISCO), First Place Gulf Guardian Award in the Environmental Justice Category
  • Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF), Second Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Civic/Non Profit Category
  • Center for Environmental & Economic Justice (CEEJ) in Biloxi, Miss., Second Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Environmental Justice Category
  • Mississippi State University’s Gulf Community Design Studio (GCCDS), First Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Civic/Non-Profit Category
  • Bay Point Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Fla., First Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Youth Environmental Education Category
  • Mississippi resident Tracie Sempier, First Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Individual Category
  • Richard D. Schulterbrandt Gragg III, Third Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Individual Category
  • Tampa Bay Estuary Program & Restore America’s Estuaries, Third Place 2015 Gulf Guardian Award in the Partnerships Category

The awards were presented at a ceremony on July 30 at the Texas State Aquarium, reported the release. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has supported the Gulf of Mexico Program since “1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways.”