82nd Governor for the State of Georgia Spoke About the Importance of Environment and its Effect on Economy Before a Crowd of More than 1,000 Community and Business Leaders at the March 6 Event
Duluth, March 11 – Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful – an environmentally focused, community-led and nationally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization that is dedicated to making Gwinnett County, Georgia one of America’s cleanest, greenest, and most livable communities – played host to its 8th Environmental Address on Thursday, March 6. The featured speaker at the event was Governor Nathan Deal – who stood before a crowd of more than 1,000 influential business, community and youth leaders from all across the state to talk about the environment and its role in job creation.
During his time before the podium, Governor Deal reiterated the fact that job creation has been the #1 priority of his administration before indicating that 5100 jobs had been created in Gwinnett County alone since he took office in January 2011. He then begged the question, “How do you grow jobs and the economy while staying attuned to environmental concerns?” before detailing his personal appall over what environmental degradation can do to a community – as witnessed during his travels. He addressed the economic benefits of projects outside of Gwinnett – chief among them, the deepening of the Port of Savannah – stating that the advantages of this project would be far-reaching, touching the lives of everyone in Georgia.
One of the key environmental issues for Georgia is water. With the majority of his environmental focus on Georgia’s waterways throughout his administration due to the ongoing tri-state water dispute between Georgia, Florida and Alabama, the Governor expressed the invaluable nature of Lake Lanier as a water source for Georgians. He explained that reclaimed waste water is often returned to the lake by Gwinnett County’s Water Resources Department. The Governor then expressed his wish that the US Army Corps of Engineers would give credit for the treated water returned to the lake in relation to the outflow sent to neighboring states, and asked the audience to join him in voicing their concerns to the Corps of Engineers – the entity charged with building and maintaining America’s infrastructure, including local waterways. Committed to bringing new water supplies online in preparation for Georgia’s growing population and the potential for future droughts, Georgia has already pledged $300 million to begin state direct investment in water supply projects throughout the state.
The Governor went on to cite Georgia’s natural beauty and the way it is made available to citizens – including its forests, mountains, and great park system – “things as Georgians we should all be proud of.” He announced the recent opening of the 1,316-acre Don Carter State Park at the northern edge of Lake Lanier, and affirmed his ongoing commitment to promoting energy consciousness through the continuation of sales tax holidays on energy efficient products such as appliances, windows, doors and programmable thermostats.
In closing, Governor Deal stated to the crowd, “If you want jobs to come your way – whether opening a new business or relocating a business – know that they want to be in a county and community that is clean and values its beauty. I often hear ‘What a beautiful state you have’… let’s keep it that way.”
At the conclusion of the event, Connie Wiggins and Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Board Chair Bartow Morgan thanked Governor Deal for his commitment to the environment by presenting a $2500 scholarship check to Georgia Gwinnett College Foundation for Angela Burrow, a biology student at Georgia Gwinnett College.
“We were so very honored to have Governor Nathan Deal join us for this year’s Environmental Address,” explained Wiggins. “Throughout his tenure, he has been protecting Georgia’s environment for both its ecological and economic worth. He understands that the state’s natural resources help support agriculture, tourism, jobs, and businesses alike. By working together as a community of good environmental stewards, our combined efforts will have a positive impact on the local area and its economy – whether here in Gwinnett or beyond our county borders.”
About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful: Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is an award-winning 501(c)3 charitable organization that boasts an expansive community-based network dedicated to finding long term solutions to environmental and quality of life issues through individual action. The organization is guided by a 55-member Citizens Advisory Board that represents all sectors of the Gwinnett County community. A nationally recognized leader in creating cleaner, greener and more livable communities throughout Gwinnett, GCB involves more than 100,000 volunteers annually to help prevent litter and graffiti, recycle and reduce waste, and increase environmental awareness. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and its programs, aspiring environmental stewards are invited to visit www.GwinnettCB.org.
Media Contact: Connie Wiggins Executive Director Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful (770) 822-5187 CWiggins@GwinnettCB.org