Environmental Excellence Applications Sought

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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now accepting applications for the 2015 Environmental Excellence Awards program, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The Environmental Excellence Awards program gives businesses, institutions and organizations the opportunity to receive statewide recognition for outstanding, innovative and sustainable projects or programs that are improving New York’s environmental resources.

Commissioner Martens said, “As a national environmental leader, New York is home to many new and exciting programs to reduce energy costs, conserve resources and help us adapt to the new climate reality. The DEC Environmental Excellence Awards program helps publicize and validate these sustainability efforts to both the general public as well as to those within the organization including employees, students, donors and volunteers.”

Eligible applicants include businesses; not-for-profit organizations; education, health care and recreational facilities; individual(s); and local, state, federal and Indian Nation government agencies.

DEC is especially interested in showcasing projects that achieve significant environmental benefits through:

    • green infrastructure projects
    • initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    • cutting-edge pollution prevention technologies
    • initiatives to “green” businesses, farms, schools, recreational, health care and hospitality facilities
    • innovative wind, solar and biomass projects
    • creative natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts
    • energy efficiency improvements
    • innovative education and training programs
    • waste reduction and recycling efforts
    • manufacturing process improvements
    • creative approaches to urban forestry or farming, programs advancing “grown locally.” 

Completed applications for the 2015 awards must be post marked no later than Friday, April 10, 2015. Award winners will be honored at an awards ceremony that will be held in late fall 2015. Winners will have an opportunity to present and display information about their award-winning project or program.

Over the past decade, previous award winners have helped improve New York’s environment through initiatives that have reduced more than 35,000 tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions; eliminated more than 2 million pounds of hazardous waste; reduced the use of heating oil or other petroleum products by at least 3 million gallons; saved at least 45 million kilowatt hours of electricity; reduced water consumption by more than 35 million gallons; captured at least 6 million gallons of stormwater; diverted 7,300 tons of waste from landfills; eliminated the use of at least 110,000 single-use plastic shopping bags; preserved more than 150,000 acres of open space; constructed more than 700 acres of new wetland areas and have involved thousands of students in environmental education activities.

Information about the award program and the 2015 application materials are available on the DEC website; by email to awards@dec.ny.gov, by writing to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Pollution Prevention Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1750 or by phone to DEC’s Pollution Prevention Unit at (518) 402-9469.

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.

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