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Open Letter From the CIO: Thank you for making Apps for the Environment a success

2011 October 11

At the beginning of the summer the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched our first developer challenge, Apps for the Environment, asking coders and entrepreneurs to use EPA data to promote public health and environmental awareness.  Today I would like to thank all of you for making the challenge a success! Apps for the Environment received 38 mobile apps ranging from dashboards to consumer-based information to games.

In addition to the diverse submissions, many contributions provided opportunities and insights critical to the success of the challenge and the development of a dialogue between the developer community and EPA. Nearly 100 app ideas were contributed from around the country, providing developers with an understanding of what applications are most needed and what innovations are possible with the use of EPA data. Community voices like Sunlight Labs, Alex Howard of Govfresh and O’Reilly Media, TechPresident, Code-for-America and Mashable helped spread the word, participated in webinar discussions and even supplied enhanced code to developers. American University in Washington, D.C. hosted their first ever code-a-thon to support Apps for the Environment, while Cleanweb in San Francisco encouraged their own participants to take part in the challenge.

Apps for the Environment will not end with your contributions to this single challenge. We have heard your recommendations and ideas and are using them now to shape the way we operate. We have already made enhancements to our Data and Developer Forum and look forward to continuing its evolution.

The Apps for the Environment recognition event, Building Innovation through Partnerships: Apps for the Environment Forum, will be held November 8 at the Artisphere. This event will continue the collaborations we began this summer, recognize participants and winners from the challenge, and explore how we can move forward together to support a sustainable, diverse innovation community. You have been a critical member of our team, and I hope you join us to celebrate the progress we have made and prepare to meet the next challenge.


Malcolm D. Jackson

Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information

and Chief Information Officer

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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