The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named the Peconic Land Trust as one of the recipients of the Environmental Champion Awards for Region 2, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin nominated the Trust for this recognition. “For over 30 years, the Peconic Land Trust has been dedicated and committed to bettering our community by protecting and preserving our farms, natural lands, and our history and heritage here on Long Island,” he told the Trust’s staff and board on April 3.
The Trust is being recognized in the Non-Profit Organization, Environmental or Community Group category. The EPA’s Environmental Champion Awards recognize achievement in five other categories as well: business and industry; individual citizen; environmental education; federal, state, local or tribal government or agency; and media.
“Thank you to Congressman Zeldin and his staff for shining a light on the Trust’s important work—we are truly honored to be a recipient of this distinguished award,” said John v.H. Halsey, president of Southampton-based Peconic Land Trust. “Since 1983, the Trust has been dedicated to protecting what we know and love on Long Island.”
The formal presentation of the award will be on April 24 in New York City.
“What better way to mark the annual celebration of Earth Day than by honoring those organizations, businesses and individuals whose work has protected the environment and improved public health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck when first announcing the nomination process in January. “Environmental protection is something that no one person or group can do alone. We need to foster an environmental ethic in corporate board rooms, in city halls, and in neighborhoods across the country—and that’s the kind of work our Environmental Champion Award recipients do.”
The Peconic Land Trust’s nomination was endorsed by many in the community, including New York State Senator Kenneth LaValle, New York Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera, farmers Chris Browder, Alex Balsam and Karen Rivara, Stony Brook Foundation’s Dexter Bailey, Perfect Earth Project’s Edwina von Gal, and the Land Trust Alliance New York Program’s Ethan Winter.
“Through patience, consistency and respect for landowners and the land, we’ve been able to work with our local legislators, partner organizations and communities to conserve land that supports local farmers, protects our drinking water, and preserves our historic community character,” said Mr. Halsey.