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News Releases from Region 06

EPA announces The Oyster Bed of Hammond, La., as 2nd Place 2019 Gulf Guardian Winner

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Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (

DALLAS – (Sept. 26, 2019) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Division announced The Oyster Bed LLC as a 2nd Place Gulf Guardian winner for its work to promote stewardship of gulf resources and oyster shell recycling through community outreach and education.

“These winners are true guardians, demonstrating a remarkable commitment to protecting a unique part of our nation that so many communities rely upon,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen, “They show the innovation and teamwork it takes to safeguard the Gulf of Mexico as a vital ecological, recreational, and economic hub.”

“Plentiful marine resources, pristine beaches and economic vitality make the Gulf of Mexico a national treasure worthy of protection and preservation,” said Acting Gulf of Mexico Division Director, Lakeshia Robertson. “The Gulf Guardian winners embody environmental stewardship; their efforts are creating a healthy and resilient Gulf for residents and tourists alike.”

"We are so grateful for the seafood that comes from our coastal estuaries that it's an easy decision to support conservation efforts that protect them," said Oyster Bed co-owner and U.S. Marine veteran Tommy Waller.

Through its business selling oyster and seafood cookware, the Oyster Bed works with restaurants and community groups to promote the importance of oyster reefs and oyster shell recycling. The company’s cookware allows restaurants and home cooks to use oysters that have been pre-shucked at warehouse facilities, where the shells are routinely recycled and used to build new oyster reefs in the Gulf. They also partner with and donate to conservation groups to help raise awareness about how healthy oyster populations benefit the Gulf ecosystem as a whole.

The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian awards in 2000 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 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.

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