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Below The Surface

Friday, July 15, 2011

Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence

On June 30, 2011, more than twenty-three organizations and individuals were recognized for their exceptional contributions to environmental causes at the Governor’s Environmental Awards. ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center’s 2009-2010 Environmental Teen Leadership Program, otherwise known as the E-Team, won the Governor’s award for Youth Environmental Citizenship.

As this year's E-Team Coordinator, I was thrilled to accompany several members of last year's E-Team, including Meiling Chau, Cesar Hammond, Thomas Elston, Sheperd Lantz, and Joyce Pan, and our Director of Education, Molly Loomis, to the ceremony. Taylor Sanders, Mohamed Mohamed, Em Geiselman, Thejas Wesley and 2010 E-Team Coordinator Amanda Gurgul, though not in attendance for the Governor’s Environmental Awards, were also honored by this recognition. Several hundred people were in attendance at the ceremony hosted by Vermont Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, Deb Markowitz and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, Justin Johnson.

We were so proud to be honored for the hard work that these 9th and 10th graders do during their year-long commitment to ECHO. The E-team is a competitive program with only a select few students chosen to participate each year. While working at ECHO 6 hours every week, they learn about the animals here, the Basin, the mission of the organization, and how to educate and delight ECHO visitors on the floor. Many of our E-team alums are inspired to pursue science and conservation as a career, but all of them will be the future stewards of the environment and our Basin. We couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments!

ECHO will begin interviewing new applicants for the program in September. For more information on joining our E-team visit ECHO’s website. Check out more photos of E-Team members accepting their award on ECHO's Facebook page.

Pictured, L to R: Molly Loomis, Meiling Chau, Cesar Hammond, Thomas Elston, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources Deb Markowitz, Sheperd Lantz, Joyce Pan, Kirsten Brewer, and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation Justin Johnson; ©2011, Gerianne Smart, ECHO’s Director of Marketing and Communications

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