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Federal EPA Gives Award to St. Croix Year of the Reef Committee

May 5, 2009 – The Virgin Islands Resource Conservation & Development Council Inc. (V.I. RC&D) congratulates the St. Croix International Year of the Reef Committee for their recent selection to receive a 2009 Environmental Quality Award (EQA) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2. This annual award is the highest recognition presented to the public by the U.S. EPA Region 2 office, which includes New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The honor recognizes individuals and organizations in the region that have contributed significantly to improving the environment during the prior year. The St. Croix IYOR was formed under the umbrella of V.I. RC&D as a small, grass-roots group of environmental and marine professionals dedicated to bringing IYOR to the community at large. Committee members consisted of Karlyn Langjahr (committee coordinator; DPNR-CZM of St. Croix East End Marine Park), Emily Tyner (UVI-Marine Advisory Service), Melanie Feltmate (environmental educator) and Kim Ishida (marine scientist).
The goal of the St. Croix IYOR Committee was to raise community awareness about the various benefits of coral reefs to the USVI and to expose underserved youth and adults to the marine environment. It provided community members with hands-on experiences in the marine environment to celebrate coral reefs in order to foster stewardship to generate public action and advocacy for these fragile resources.
The EQA awards ceremony will be held in the US-EPA New York City, Manhattan office on April 24. A follow up ceremony will be held in the U.S.V.I. sometime in the summer.
For more information about the St. Croix IYOR Committee and its activities, contact Karlyn Langjahr, at 773-3367 or karlyn.langjahr@dpnr.gov.vi or Emily Tyner at 692-4144 or etyner@uvi.edu. For details about V.I. RC&D, please contact the V.I. RC&D office at 692-6932 ext. 5 or visit online at www.usvircd.org.

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