ENVIRONMENT--ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS ----------------------------------------------------------------- Environment Minister Wayne Adams praised the winners of this years Environmental Awards as leaders showing their fellow citizens the benefits of caring for the environment. "Actions speak louder than words," he told recipients at a presentation ceremony in Halifax today. "In your case those actions are also far more eloquent because they speak for the earth that has no voice in its future." The Environmental Awards are a joint presentation of the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment and the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Board. Awards are presented in seven categories; business/industrial, education, government, individual, citizens groups, sustainable development and youth. Each year the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Board calls for nominations from the general public. The nominees are judged by the selection committee of the board and the awards are presented during Environment Week. The major winners this year included: BUSINESS/INDUSTRIAL CATEGORY: Acadian Seaplants Limited Acadian Seaplants, based in Dartmouth, has operations in Yarmouth, Shelburne and Pictou Counties as well as smaller operations in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The company harvests natural and cultivated seaweeds and manufactures them in Nova Scotia into value added products for export. Their products are exported to over 35 world markets. The company devotes considerable energy, time and resources to ensure that the seaweed resources are available, quantified, evaluated and harvested in a controlled environmentally friendly and sustainable manner, as well as employing approximately 120 people and several hundred fishermen harvesters in Nova Scotia and several hundred more in P.E.I. and New Brunswick. CITIZEN GROUP/ORGANIZATION CATEGORY: Pictou County Rivers Association One nominator states "the Pictou County Rivers Association has only been in existence for five years but in that short period of time they have made their environmental presence known to the community." The projects completed in 1995 included habitat enhancement. The major work was done on the Bear Brook system. Members distributed about 250,000 trout fry in the spring of 1995. Approximately 150,000 of the trout fry came from the trout incubation boxes in Landsdowne at the Western Provincial Hatchery. About 15,000 salmon fry were available for stocking purposes. The members are also involved in the River Watch Program, reporting violations of fishing regulations to the Department of Fisheries & Oceans or the Environment Department. The public awareness and education projects include: the printing of three newsletters; the sponsoring of a fishing expo; participation in the Pictou County Rivers Association Appreciation Day; provision of eight cold water aquarium kits to eight local schools to raise salmon fry from egg; and sponsorship of a trout fishing derby in Trenton Park for the children. EDUCATION CATEGORY: Institut de developpement communautaire, Church Point The institute has been working on the project Enviro-peche for over 18 months. It is an awareness program to inform Acadian students and adults on the problems of pollution related to the marine environment. The institute uses five different presentations depending on age of the audience. The pre-school message is mostly relayed through songs and materials that can be seen and touched. Elementary level students receive a different presentation including songs and a life size puppet, named Picote, showing the causes and effects of marine pollution. The upper elementary level students are given a visual demonstration on pollution found in Nova Scotia waters. Presentations for older students and adults include more detailed information on the problem and its remedies. The institute's future plans include: summer camps, developing ideas and progress on the issues of waste management. GOVERNMENT CATEGORY: Certificate of Merit: John Murphy, Stellarton Mr. Murphy's nominator states "his work had a tremendous impact on the appearance of the town and on students' attitudes and awareness of environmental issues. John worked through and with the town's schools to implement an extremely effective program." Over 1000 school children and their teachers and some 50 or 60 volunteers participated. Twelve tonnes of garbage were collected. INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY: Catherine Crook, Kingston, Kings County Mrs. Crook was nominated for "The Garden" project, a school improvement program in Auburn, undertaken through the Evergreen Foundation. Mrs. Crook was willing to take on the project in off-school time with the help of some students and staff as well as her friends. During the summer, Mrs. Crook and her committee produced a garden that quickly became the conversation item of the area. The long term environmental benefit of Mrs. Crook's project was the creation of a natural windbelt of trees to shade the school and the parking area. Younger students helped build bird feeders while the senior classes built composting units. The project has created a welcoming atmosphere for the school which indicates to the community that West Kings cares about the school and about the environment. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CATEGORY: Habitat Unlimited Society, Antigonish County The Habitat Unlimited Society was formed in March 1993, as an advocate for the wise management of the fish and wildlife resources in Antigonish County. The society has undertaken a number of projects including the Ohio River Project, the West River Project, Wright's River Project, the Habitat Unlimited Society "Salmon Pool" Map and the Brierly Brook Restoration Project, Phase IV, which was completed in 1995. The society believes that as stewards of the resource they should all strive to implement conservation base management plans in all Antigonish County waterways that will provide both environmental and economic benefits to the residents. Committee to Save Kingsburg Beach, Lunenburg County The Committee to Save Kingsburg Beach consists of 43 active participants. The objective of the committee was to encourage the Minister of Natural Resources to designate the beach area as "protected" under the Beaches Protection Act, declare a moratorium on further construction and prove by way of an environmental study that there should be no construction permitted in this dune/wetland system. A court case ensued and two of the members were given intervenor status. The court judgement referred the matter of further development to the Provincial Cabinet and the Cabinet ruled that there should be no further development in this sand dune/wetland system. The case served to raise public awareness of the fact that construction should not be permitted in sand dunes/wetlands systems. YOUTH CATEGORY: Oasis Environmental Society, Halifax County In 1994, Oasis, a group of seven young people, between the ages of 16 and 24, created a summer environmental day camp that successfully combined recreation with environmental education. With the support of their municipal recreation department in Cole Harbour, they garnered support and assistance from a wide variety of sponsors. The project's success attracted new sponsors and an additional 15 environmental day camps were set up across Nova Scotia. Oasis is currently working with youth in Ontario and New Brunswick to help pilot the program in other provinces. Certificates of Merit were also presented to: Business/Industrial: Kimberley Clark Nova Scotia Pictou Harbour Environmental Protection Project Retail Gasoline Dealers Association, Dartmouth Citizens Group/Organization Five Island lake Watershed Environmental Committee, Halifax Education: Boulardarie Consolidated School, Cape Breton County Youth: Jordan Hanson, Halifax -30- EDITORS NOTE: There is an accent aigu on the first "e" in developpement (Institut de developpement communautaire) and an accent circonflexe(^) on the first "e" in peche (Enviro-peche). Contact: Shirley Nicholson 902-424-6387 Paul McEachern 902-424-2575 trp June 05, 1996 - 11:47 a.m.