Press Release

Unsung Heroes of the Environment Honored at 2002 ChevronTexaco Conservation Awards

Winners from California, Missouri, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia Receive Accolades at Ceremony in Houston

HOUSTON, Sept. 26, 2002 – Unsung heroes seeking to save endangered wildlife, beautify urban areas and educate youth about the importance of environmental protection were honored today at the 48th Annual ChevronTexaco Conservation Awards.

At a special ceremony at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, one organization and seven individuals from five states were presented with awards, including Keep Houston Beautiful, which won for its model programs to prevent urban litter, reduce crime and rejuvenate neighborhoods.

Winners included a Rhode Islander who works to save an endangered species of tree kangaroo half-way around the world, a Missourian's drive to bring nature to urbanites, and two Virginia radio talk show hosts whose unique program brings businesses and environmentalists together to find solutions to conservation challenges. Three winners were from the San Francisco Bay Area, including a pair of conservationists who have spent 40 years protecting San Francisco Bay and a naturalist who creates conservation programs for youths.

“At ChevronTexaco, we believe in the power of partnerships and that we all share the responsibility for protecting our environment. This year's ChevronTexaco Conservation Awards honorees provide stellar examples of what can be accomplished when people and organizations put these values into action. Their passion, ingenuity, and vision to conserve natural resources are examples for all of us to emulate,” said Warner Williams, ChevronTexaco vice president of Health, Environment and Safety. 

This year's ChevronTexaco Conservation Awards honorees are:

  • Keep Houston Beautiful, Inspiring, Educating and Empowering Residents. Since it was founded in 1977, KHB has conducted 2,609 cleanups involving 121,154 volunteers, 2,000 community groups and 13 government agencies who have picked up 13,343 tons of litter. Thousands participate in KHB programs, such as Adopt-a-Block, the Great American Cleanup and the Youth Environmental Conference. An acclaimed KHB program called Keep Five Alive also is credited with revitalizing the 5th Ward, one the city's oldest and most neglected areas. This success resulted in the Clean Neighborhoods program, now a national model for rejuvenating neighborhoods.
  • Sylvia McLaughlin and Dwight Steele, Saving San Francisco Bay. For more than 50 years, McLaughlin and the late Dwight Steele have volunteered their talents to preserve the environment. In 1961, McLaughlin co-founded Save the Bay in response to plans to fill major portions of the San Francisco Bay. Steele served on its first Board of Directors. Together they lead countless battles to protect the Bay from being filled and to preserve its wetlands, wildlife and water quality. They also helped form the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the first coastal protection agency in the U.S. For three decades, as part of Citizens for Eastshore State Park, they worked to create the Eastshore State Park which encompasses 8.5 miles of shoreline along the San Francisco Bay, covering 260 acres and touching five cities. 
  • Dr. Lisa Dabek, Saving the Endangered Tree Kangaroo. Dr. Dabek reaches out to villagers in Papua New Guinea to ensure the survival of the endangered Matschie's tree kangaroo. Her efforts are part of the successful Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program, based at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. The program brings different cultures together to protect the environment and share in the wonder of wildlife. Dr. Dabek's grassroots efforts resulted in 50,000 acres being preserved in Papua New Guinea as a safe haven for thousands of plant and animal species, including the Matschie's tree kangaroo, and a conservation exchange program between children in the U.S. and Papua New Guinea.
  • Carey Crane and Chandler Van Voorhis, GreenWave Radio. Founded by Crane and Van Voorhis, GreenWave Radio is built around the principle that the environment and the economy can benefit by working hand-in-hand. Today, the show is broadcast over 70 radio stations nationwide. Interviews are broadcast on, and a daily two-minute segment airs on 120 stations and XM Satellite Radio. Each week, more than a half million people hear stories of positive change in the conservation arena led by entrepreneurs, environmentalists, businesses and government.
  • Anita Gorman, Missouri Conservation Commissioner, Bringing Nature to the City. Gorman's crowning achievement is the creation of the Discovery Center in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri. Opened last spring, the center is considered to be a model for conservation education, particularly for children. With wetlands, prairie grass meadows, bird and butterfly gardens, forests, and hiking trails, the interactive center is a “learning laboratory” for conservation and wildlife for urban residents. Gorman is the first woman appointed to the Missouri Conservation Commission, where she has worked to secure 4,468 acres for public use in St. Louis and was successful in efforts to restore 15,000 acres of flood-damaged lands to their original wetland state.
  • Joan Linn Bekins, Educating Youth about Conservation. Inspired as a young mother by a nature walk with naturalist Elizabeth Terwilliger, Bekins has done her best to spread the legacy of “Mrs.T's” hands-on approach to environmental education. Producing films, providing resources through her Terwilliger Nature Education Center, and training Terwilliger Nature Guides, Bekins has ensured that the environmental philosophy of her heroine, experiencing and protecting nature, will never cease. The books and tapes she has published as well as Classroom Kits, trips and Nature Vans serve 65,000 school children each year in seven San Francisco Bay Area counties.

An independent panel of leading conservationists selected the winners. Each winner received $10,000, round-trip airfare for two to Houston and two nights' lodging. 

More than 1,000 volunteers, professionals and organizations have received this award since it was founded in 1954 by the late Ed Zern, a nationally recognized sportsman, humorist and author. ChevronTexaco Conservation Award recipients have helped create wildlife refuges and preserves, protect species, establish park and recreation areas, and, overall, heighten environmental awareness.

The ChevronTexaco Conservation Awards was previously called the Chevron Conservation Awards. The new name reflects the recent merger between Chevron and Texaco.

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