The James River Association, which is headquartered in Richmond, won a 2011 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for its “Extreme Stream Makeover” initiative, which was carried out with the help of volunteers throughout the watershed of the James River.
On Wednesday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced the winners, which will be presented at the Environment Virginia Symposium in Lexington. The awards recognize the significant contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in three categories: environmental projects, environmental programs and land conservation. They are given to businesses and industrial facilities, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies and individuals, according to a release from his office.
Bill Street, executive director of the James River Association said: “This honor validates the critical focus of this program in helping to reduce pollution in the James River by limiting the impact of runoff and sediment into the hundreds of small creeks and streams that feed into the James. The James River is ‘America’s Founding River,’ and it’s gratifying to know that our work in protecting and preserving this treasured resource is deserving of this special award.”
The Gold Medal winners in each category are:
- Environmental programs (large businesses) – MillerCoors Shenandoah Brewery for its recycling and sustainability program
- Environmental programs (small businesses/non-manufacturing) – Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants of Virginia for its Earthcare Program
- Environmental programs (government):
- The environmental program at U.S. Army Fort Monroe, Public Works
- The Virginia Master Naturalist Program
- Virginia Tech for implementation of its sustainability plan
- The Town of Purcellville in Loudoun County for its “Go Green Purcellville” initiative
- Environmental programs (not for profit) – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation for its environmental education program
- Environmental project (government) – The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News for its sulfur hexafluoride management project
- Environmental project (not for profit) – James River Association for its “Extreme Stream Makeover” initiative
- Land conservation – The Nature Conservancy for the Dragon Run conservation area
Award winners were chosen based on criteria including environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability and innovation.
This year’s awards were sponsored by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Dominion and Smithfield Foods Inc. Additional information on the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards is available on the DEQ website.