Shell wins Gulf Guardian Award for marsh restoration project
TAMPA BAY, FL (7-1-13) – For its support of the “Floating Islands” marsh restoration project in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, Shell has earned the 2013 Gulf Guardian Award bestowed by the Gulf of Mexico Program, an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate collaborative actions to protect, maintain, and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico.
“Shell has been very dedicated to creating and restoring marine habitat in the Gulf and certainly deserves this recognition,” said Pat Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “This project is a perfect example of what can be accomplished through the successful partnership of a good corporate citizen, local conservationists and a non-profit organization to revitalize critical marine habitat.”
In 2010, Shell provided $1.5 million over three years to fund CCA’s Building Conservation Trust (BCT), an innovative program for recreational-angler-driven marine habitat restoration. The floating islands project was one of the first projects undertaken by BCT and brought together students from local schools, members of a local Native American tribe, CCA volunteers and Shell employees to rebuild part of the Louisiana coastline using new technology. The floating islands project has so far placed 2,500 linear feet of new shoreline.
“Shell is honored to be the recipient of the Gulf Guardian Award. The Floating Islands Project provided a tremendous opportunity to collaborate with CCA and several partner organizations and work with the community,” said Bruce Culpepper, Shell Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Regional Coordination, Americas. “In addition, many of our employees and their families were able to contribute their time and talent toward an innovative project that addresses some of the key environmental challenges in the Gulf Coast region.”
“The Floating Island project opened up a whole new way to increase the amount of marsh by tying new plants into existing marsh,” said John Walther, chairman of CCA Louisiana’s Habitat Committee. “We’re fighting to take our marsh back one foot at a time and this method is more economical than traditional planting methods, which is exactly what we need to rejuvenate our disappearing coastline.”
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.
“The Gulf Guardian Award winners have made great achievements in restoring and protecting freshwater and marine ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico watershed," said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "EPA is pleased to recognize their collaborative work in providing solutions to coastal habitats and communities."