DEP Southwest District Presents Environmental Stewardship Achievement Award

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DEP Southwest District Presents Environmental Stewardship Achievement Award

~Marine Science Center recognized for commitment to environmental protection and water quality improvements~

Marine Science Center ES Award

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Southwest District recently presented an Environmental Stewardship Achievement Award to the Marine Science Center in Citrus County. This is the Southwest District’s inaugural year presenting the Environmental Stewardship Achievement Award to recognize those who are working alongside DEP to Protect Florida Together.

The Marine Science Station is part of the Citrus County School District and was established in 1967. The mission of the Marine Science Station is to increase student environmental awareness and stewardship through hands-on field and laboratory interactions. The campus is located within a 15-acre coastal hammock and saltmarsh habitat alongside the Salt River, which adjoins the Outstanding Florida Waters of Crystal River and Kings Bay.

“The Marine Science Station represents an organization that shows a deep commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Southwest District Director Mary Yeargan, P.G.

Understanding that a newly available central sewer system would provide a greater level of treatment and reduce the impacts to the nearby surface and groundwater systems, the Marine Science Station took proactive steps, beginning in 2016 – ahead of requirements of the Crystal River/King's Bay Basin Management Action Plan – to ensure that the wastewater effluent discharge impacts from the campus were eliminated.

“The Marine Science Station’s septic-to-sewer conversion project was wholly for the benefit of our environment. This project highlights the types of actions needed to move water quality improvements forward in Florida,” said Yeargan.

The Marine Science Station campus also maintains rigorous water conservation measures and regularly works with partners to promote environmental stewardship in the community.

The Environmental Stewardship Achievement program recognizes businesses, professional and community organizations, and local governments within DEP's Southwest District for exceptional achievements to prevent or reduce impacts on the environment. To be considered for recognition, participants must demonstrate proactive, innovative and measurable achievements that exceed regulatory requirements and provide a direct benefit to our environment.