The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards.

“Maintaining the health of Tennessee’s natural environment is critical in keeping Tennessee a great place to live, work and play,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said. “These Awards are a great opportunity to recognize the work done by our citizens to enhance Tennessee’s most valuable assets in a sustainable way.”

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards include ten unique categories: Building Green, Clean Air, Energy and Renewable Resources, Environmental Education and Outreach, Environmental Education and Outreach (school category), Land Use, Materials Management, Natural Heritage, Sustainable Performance, and Lifetime Achievement.

Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible to apply, provided it is located in Tennessee and the project was completed during the 2016 calendar year. All nominees must have a minimum of three consecutive years of overall environmental compliance with TDEC. Self-nominations are encouraged.

“Tennesseans continue to make our state a stronger and healthier place through innovative ideas and collaboration across industries,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “The recognition these annual Awards provide help motivate and empower individuals, organizations and communities to keep pushing the needle on stewardship efforts across the state.”

A panel of judges representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental, and academic professionals will select award recipients based on criteria including level of project or program completion, innovation, and public education. The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2017. Award recipients will be announced in May 2017.

For more information about each category, judging criteria, and nomination forms, visit TDEC’s website at http://www.tn.gov/environment/topic/sp-gesa-governors-environmental-stewardship-awards.

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