The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers and Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) learned last week that they each won a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2012 Environmental Quality Award.
A personal call came in from Congressman Bob Turner (R-Queens) to let them know.
“These are two extremely deserving groups who do important work on behalf of our community,” Turner said in a statement. “I was proud to have nominated them, and am even prouder that they have been recognized for their devotion to their respective causes.”
Every April, the EPA honors selected non-profits, businesses, local government groups, media and more with the award for their efforts to improve the environment.
Turner nominated the two groups in February.
The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers were founded in 1998 to help protecting and restore Jamaica Bay.
Their president, Dan Mundy, Sr., said in a statement that he was elated when he heard the news.
“Since his election, the congressman has done an outstanding job reaching out to people in the community and environmental groups around the bay to try and find out the needs of the bay and what he can do to help,” said Mundy. “We certainly appreciate his efforts on the bay. I think his living on the bay contributes a lot to his firsthand awareness of how important it is. We certainly appreciate the work his office did to recognize us. This award will help us continue the work that we are doing.”
CURES is a coalition of 14 civic associations from Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale, Elmhurst, Woodside, Forest Hills and Woodhaven.
It seeks to reduce emissions from diesel-based locomotives, ensure that local rail yards are free of hazards and threats to neighborhood health and safety, works to raise awareness about the expanded railroad operations pushing into residential areas at Fresh Pond Terminal, and fights to decrease the levels of noise, noxious fumes and air pollution.
“The award acknowledges the dedication and commitment of CURES civic leaders and our partners to address environmental health and quality of life problems our communities suffer,” CURES Co-Chair Mary Parisen stated. “We will stay committed and work in partnership to identify baseline conditions and areas of concern, increase knowledge, awareness, and participation, and resolve these problems.”
Each winner will receive a plaque at an awards ceremony on April 27 at the EPA office in New York City.