* DEP Home * About DEP * Programs * Contact * Site Map * Search *

Resources for

 newsletter sign up button

Unless indicated, documents on this Web site are Adobe Acrobat files, and require the free reader software.

Get Adobe Reader Icon


Florida has a right to know button

Report Waste, Fraud and Abuse button


LIFE Awards Quick Links

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Logo Gulf Guardian Award

gold award winners

Left to right: Becky Prado with DEP?s Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas; Misty Alderman, OEE; and Stan Meiburg, Deputy Regional Administrator for EPA Region 4 in Atlanta, Georgia


DEP?s Office of Environmental Education (OEE) recently received the First Place Gulf Guardian Award for the Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity category through the Gulf of Mexico Program. Through OEE?s Learning in Florida?s Environment (LIFE) Program, DEP staff developed unique tools to better match educational programs with the cultural diversity of students, in addition to prioritizing underserved groups.

The School Profile Index is used to determine the order of high-need schools, the Scope and Sequence Matrix is used to align project activities with teacher identified goals/needs and the Cultural Competency Assessment Tool is for educators to evaluate their cultural competency progress. In addition to these initiatives, the OEE serves on the Underserved and Underrepresented Populations Working Group through the Gulf Alliance Environmental Education Network. The LIFE Choctawhatchee Bay and Big Cypress Watershed projects and the multi-state Gulf Alliance Partnership project targets students from groups underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields to facilitate a more diverse workforce and to increase environmental literacy.

The Gulf of Mexico Program, which began in 1988 to protect, restore and maintain the health and productivity of the gulf in economically sustainable ways, and the awards which followed in 2000, were initiated as a way to recognize environmental excellence towards achieving and preserving healthy and resilient coasts in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. First, second and third place awards are given in seven categories: Individual, Business, Youth Environmental Education, Civic/Nonprofit Organizations, Cultural Diversity/Environmental Justice, Partnership and more recently, Bi-National efforts -- to include Mexico and the Caribbean. The OEE also won an award in the Youth Education category in 2007. 

Coastal America Logo Coastal America Partnership Award

LIFE group with award Plaque

Honeymoon Island provided a beautiful venue for the Coastal America Partnership Award Ceremony.


At a seaside ceremony at Honeymoon Island State Park, the LIFE Program received the 2007 Coastal America Partnership Award in recognition of outstanding collaborative efforts to restore, protect and educate the public on the coastal environment. LIFE Program partners from every LIFE site established by January 2007 were invited to receive their award plaque and letter of thanks from President Bush.

Press release


Gulf of Mexico Alliance Logo Gulf Guardian Award

Gulf Guardian Award

The LIFE Program was awarded the 2007 Gulf Guardian Award: First Place for Youth/Education.


LIFE program was awarded first place in the education category of the 2007 Gulf Guardian Award. The Gulf Guardian Awards are presented by the Gulf of Mexico Program to honor the businesses, community groups, individuals and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. Award entries are received from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. This award recognizes the efforts of the LIFE Program to both educate students about this valuable resource and encourage their stewardship of the Gulf coast.

Press release



Hands on the Land Logo Hands on the Land Community Collaboration Award

Hands on the Community Collaboration Award

Department of Environmental Protection partners from the National Forest Service in Florida and The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Leon County Extension worked together to provide educational programs for schools at Leon Sinks Geological Area and received the 2007 Hands on the Land Community Collaboration Award.


Leon Sinks Geological Area in the Apalachicola National Forest and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge both serve as Hands on the Land network sites through the LIFE Program. These sites received the 2007 Hands on the Land Community Collaboration Award. Hands on the Land is a national network of outdoor field classrooms that serves to connect students, teachers, and parents to their public lands and waterways. This award recognizes the invaluable efforts of community partners and volunteers which play integral roles in the success of the program at these locations.

Protecting Florida's Water


LIFE Program

Last updated: August 18, 2011

  Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office of Environmental Education, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard M.S. 30   Tallahassee, Florida 32399  
850-245-2100 (phone) / 850-245-2159 (fax)

DEP Home | About DEP  | Contact Us | Search |  Site Map