First Club Award Ceremony Post Katrina and Rita Highlighted Environmental Hurricane Response Leadership
In the spirit of John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and Father of our National Park system, local Sierra Club members and community volunteers acts as stewards of our environment. The Delta Chapter presented awards to celebrate this good work on April 21st, at a reception at Boutin’s restaurant in Baton Rouge, LA.
“We felt that it was fitting to give awards to deserving club members and our community partners on John Muir’s birthday, the eve of Earth Day” says Delta Chapter Chair, Leslie March. “ We want to recognize that the dedication of these people preserve our environment and make Louisiana a better place to live.”
Awards presented to our community partners and members include:
PELICAN AWARD FOR LEGAL SERVICES
Joel Waltzer of the Walzer Law firm and Adam Babich, Director of the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic for their excellent work in protecting communities from hazardous waste post-Katrina. Adam Babich photo at right.
SWAMPRAKER AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING
Mark Schleifstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune is granted this award for his coverage of environmental issues before and after the storms. Mark Schleifstein shown at left.
LOUISIANA LORAX AWARD FOR YOUTH ENGAGEMENT
Stacy Hess - Lafayette Middle School for being an inspiration to all environmental educators. Stacey Hess shown at right.
BAYOU STEWARD AWARD FOR CORPORATE LEADERSHIP
Sharp Solar Corporation for contributing solar panels to houses being rebuilt in the lower ninth ward.
EVERYBODY'S BACKYARD AWARD FOR COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
Father Vien of Citizens for a Strong New Orleans East and Mary Queen of Vietnam, for helping to lead the recovery of his community to develop sustainably and to protect the environment.
"RED" BOURG AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COLLABORATION
Mike Bienvenu, Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association West. The LCPAW has been a strong partner in protecting the Cypress and the Atchafalaya Basin. Mike Bienvenu shown at left.
PAUL TEMPLET AWARD FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERSHIP
Suzanne Hawes, Army Corps of Engineers, has been an inspiration to all who work with her. Her dedication to preserving our environment and to encourage citizen participation with government is unsurpassed. Suzanne Hawes is shown at right.
WOOD DUCK AWARD FOR LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP
Henry "Junior" Rodriguez , President of St. Bernard Parish is an unfailing opponent of the MRGO, an ecological disaster commonly known as the hurricane highway. He has been a leader among public officials in negotiating the closure of this coastal cancer. Henry "Junior" Rodriguez is shown at left.
OUR COAST, OUR FUTURE AWARD FOR ENERGY ACCOUNTABILITY Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.
We applaud the governor for having the courage to ask for a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS) of the Gulf of Mexico, post Katrina. She was willing to stand up to the oil and gas industry and the Minerals Management Service and demand that before they offer any more leases they needed to survey the current damage. Additionally, the Governor stood up for fisheries in the Gulf and opposed open loop liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals proposed for offshore Louisiana.
In addition to community awards, there were awards presented to outstanding club members. Each award winner received a framed plaque with a photograph donated by outdoor photographer and Sierra Member Charles Fryling.
Thanks to Jeffrey Dubinsky for providing the photographs.