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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership Gulf Coast Big Brothers Big Sisters
Galveston County
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
News Release
Monday, June 10, 2013

Artist Boat Founder Karla Klay, Receives Third Place Gulf Guardian Award
in the Individual Category

Stennis Space Center, Mississippi – The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced Karla Kay will receive a Third Place 2013 Gulf Guardian Award in the Individual Category for her work through Artist Boat, a non-profit organization she created. The awards ceremony will be held on June 26, 2013, at the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt beginning at 6PM.

Karla has dedicated her life to connecting people to places in the Gulf region through meaningful experiences that integrate the arts and sciences to instill a stewardship ethic and ultimately improve environmental outcomes in communities throughout the region. Karla’s vision for an interdisciplinary approach to environmental education is realized in programs and projects she designs and implements through Artist Boat, a non-profit organization she founded and leads in Galveston, Texas, which has directly served over ~65,000 program participants and indirectly served many more through public art and habitat stewardship projects since it was established in 2003.

Karla’s innovation in the environmental education field is evident in her development of Artist Boat as a vehicle to deliver effective environmental education programming integrating the arts and sciences. After working for nine years in educational programs that applied conventional approaches to delivery of curricula that segregated the disciplines of the arts and sciences, Karla built on the example of 19th-century naturalists who applied interdisciplinary approaches to their study of the natural world, applying a new learning model based in interdisciplinary, experiential approaches to improve environmental literacy and foster a stewardship ethic in participants from communities across the Gulf region.

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. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: individual, business/industry, youth environmental education, civic/nonprofit organizations, cultural diversity/environmental justice, partnership and bi-national efforts.

“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."

The Gulf of Mexico Program began in 1988 to protect, restore, and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. The Gulf of Mexico Program is underwritten by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a non-regulatory, inclusive consortium of state and federal government agencies and representatives of the business and agricultural community, fishing industry, scientists, environmentalists, and community leaders from all five Gulf States. The Gulf Program seeks to improve the environmental health of the Gulf in concert with economic development

Ben Scaggs, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program said, “Given all the incredible challenges that the Gulf has faced over the last several years and the work that has continued with strength and vigor despite what sometime seem like overwhelming obstacles, it is difficult to adequately and succinctly express the community value of the awards and the role they play in reminding us of what yet needs to be done while giving us all the energy and optimism to stay the course.”

For more information please contact, Karla Klay, Phone: (713) 569-0722; or Email: kklay@artistboat.org




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Remembering Jim Guidry GRCC


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