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President George W. Bush and Steve Johnson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acting administrator, welcomed students from across the nation to the White House to honor their achievements in environmental protection. The 2004 President's Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) were presented to 30 students at a ceremony in the East Room at the White House.
The winners come from Middletown, R.I.; Staten Island, N.Y.; Saint Paul, Va.; Cairo, Ga.; Chesterland, Ohio; Del City, Okla.; Lincoln, Neb.; Hyrum, Utah; Chino Hills, Calif.; and Salem, Ore.
"I am impressed by the environmental commitment these young people have shown," Johnson stated. "Their projects demonstrate the enthusiasm for improving our environment that I see in youth across the country."
PEYA has been presented annually since 1971 to honor students in kindergarten through twelfth grade who develop projects that help protect local environments and promote local environmental awareness in their communities.
Each student receiving an award developed an innovative project that promotes awareness and encourages people of all ages to protect their environment through community involvement.
Examples of projects getting awards include: building nesting boxes on Staten Island; monitoring water quality in a local stream and educating the community to protect it; studying groundwater and organizing community events to teach others about its importance; and restoring habitat for the endangered Fenders Blue Butterfly.
Winners were selected from among applicants to EPA's 10 regional offices. Regional EPA panels judge projects on environmental need, accomplishment of goals, long-term environmental benefits and positive impact on local communities. The panels also consider project design, coordination, implementation, innovation and soundness of approach.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency