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CEC’S tenth annual Synergy Awards will be presented at a luncheon at the Houstonian Hotel on Monday, November 5. Casey Curry, of ABC 13, will be our MC. Mayor Bill White, who will receive the Synergy Government Award, will speak briefly.Linda Shead, project manager for the Trust for Public Land’s Houston/Galveston office, will be honored with the Founders Award. The Trust for Public Land is a national, nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.

In 2002, led by Shead, the TPL launched the Galveston Bay Land Conservation Initiative. The initiative is funded by the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, which is authorized under Clean Water Act amendments. The Program has made use of extensive stakeholder involvement to study the bay and is now implementing a comprehensive bay conservation and management plan.

Currently, TPL is implementing the Saving Our Coastal Heritage Program and the Southeast Texas Program to assist local governments around Galveston Bay to provide public enjoyment and access to the Bay and its tributaries while conserving wetlands and other special habitats for water quality and wildlife protection.

Transocean will receive the Synergy Corporate Awareness Award. Based in Houston, Transocean is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor and a founding partner of the SERPENT Project. Dr. Ian Hudson, Corporate environmental advisor for Transocean, is the founding director of the Project, which puts oceanographers and marine biologists in touch with pilots of the remotely operated vehicles, (R.O.V.s), found on most offshore oilrigs and drillships. The project has worked on more than 20 different Transocean rigs.

It is now part of the Transocean Environmental Management System. These unmanned submarines, which perform underwater work for major oil companies, are now helping the scientific community get a close-up look at the behavior of deep-sea creatures. The first mission in 2002 identified many new species and behaviors that no one had ever seen before.

Current missions include a partnership with the Smithsonian Institute to search for giant squid and carrying out the first ever ROV census in deepwater offshore Venezuela. In the Gulf of Mexico, SERPENT has worked to provide a “Most Wanted” poster for ROV operators to identify species of scientific interest and worked with Discovery Channel on Planet Earth series.

Other Synergy Awards will be presented to: Richard Lindsay of HISD; Dr. Bob Randall of Urban Harvest; Morton D. Voller of the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council, Inc.; Patricia Gras, producer of Living Smart, HoustonPBS; the Arbor Day Tree Planting Project; Buffalo Bayou Partnership; Friends of West 11th Street Park.

Sponsors for the event are BP America, Kirksey, and Devon Energy Corporation.