Pacific Southwest Environmental Awards – WE ARE INSPIRED!

About the author: Sara Jacobs just celebrated her 10th year working at EPA Region 9. She has worked with both states and tribal governments in the Drinking Water Office.

Why is the Pacific Southwest EPA Region one of the top three places to work in all of the US federal government? Is it the gym and day-care center in our building or the fact that many of us are past Peace Corps volunteers? Actually, the most amazing thing about working for EPA is the fact that virtually every employee in this building is here because we are committed to EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment. But as we peruse this year’s environmental award winners, we realize that we are just the tip of the environmental protection iceberg.

We simply cannot protect our health and the environment all on our own and need help from every single one of you to conserve water, plant native species, purchase non-toxic consumer products, dispose of household hazardous waste properly, use less energy, recycle, and so much more. So here, in the Pacific Southwest Regional blog series, we are highlighting people like you who have taken it upon themselves to become environmental leaders in their businesses, organizations and communities.

Once again, our senior managers locked themselves in a conference room with hundreds of award nominations to find the most cutting edge, innovative, and inspirational people and groups working towards environmental protection. The award winners are always a diverse group from tribal government employees to students and teachers to people in industry. From protection of the Pacific Islands to the US Mexico Border Region and from inner cities to rural farms, these people are making a huge difference in their communities, and are true environmental heroes! We are so inspired by the incredible work of these people and we hope that you are inspired to make a difference in your community too.

image of man in boat holding a jar filled with marine debrisKeep checking back with us over the next ten weeks to learn more about the 2009 award winners, find links to their sites, and find out how you can get involved. For a taste of what is to come in future posts, check out one of our 2008 winners, Captain Charles Moore, who leads research on marine plastic pollution at the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. You can also find more video, photos, and information about our past winners at

We look forward to hearing from you!

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