The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has honored five individuals and organizations from across Puerto Rico with Environmental Quality Awards for their achievements in protecting public health and the environment. EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by Linda Cox, Executive Director of the Bronx River Alliance to present the awards to this year’s recipients at a ceremony at EPA’s offices in Manhattan.
“EPA is thrilled to honor the work of these environmental trailblazers,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “These Puerto Ricans have had a major impact on protecting the environment in their communities and inspire us all to work for a cleaner, healthier environment.”
EPA presents Environmental Quality Awards annually during Earth Week to individuals, businesses, government agencies, environmental and community-based organizations and members of the media in EPA Region 2, which covers New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally-recognized Indian Nations. The awards recognize significant contributions to improving the environment and public health in the previous calendar year. For information about the Environmental Quality Awards in EPA Region 2, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/eqa/.
2013 ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AWARD WINNERS
Corriente Verde Environmental Magazine
Corriente Verde Environmental Magazine is a reference and educational material for schools, universities, professionals, businesses, government agencies and the industrial and manufacturing sector. It features materials written by academics and government professionals and has a readership of more than 200,000 people.
Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences – Public Health Program
The Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences Public Health Program has been a leader in environmental awareness and public health promotion in Puerto Rico. The school frequently collaborates with EPA, state agencies, universities, non-profit organizations and the general public to promote environmental and public health. Many of its programs are designed to benefit low-income communities such as Caño Martin Peña in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, ENVIRONMENTAL, OR COMMUNITY GROUP
Madre Tierra Atabey
Madre Tierra Atabey is a non-profit organization that serves the residents of Guayanilla and Southern Puerto Rico by working to improve their environment. It has organized numerous forums and initiatives that educate the public and promote awareness of environmental issues in Southern Puerto Rico. It also spearheaded the first environmental education program developed exclusively for students affected by chemicals listed on the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory. This program has taught 600 students about their role in toxic emissions and how to reduce and mitigate those effects.
Three Kings Workshop
The Three Kings Workshop is an organization that has been collecting and recycling used toys for needy children for the past 20 years. Relying heavily on sponsors and volunteers, the Three Kings Workshop has recycled over 90,000 toys. Not only does this work brighten the holidays for untold numbers of children in Puerto Rico, it also recycles toys instead of sending them to landfills.
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP / BUSINESS / LOCAL AGENCY PARTNERSHIP
SanSe Recicla was created to improve recycling at the San Sebastian Festival, the largest festival in Puerto Rico. With the help of 200 volunteers from the San Juan Bay Estuary Program and the Sierra Club, SanSe Recicla set up 10 recycling stations in Old San Juan. Altogether, nearly 70 tons of recyclables, more than double the previous year, were collected and recycled. They also recovered 1500 gallons of oil.