Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Played Host to Georgia’s Governor During September 27 Event at Infinite Energy Center
Lawrenceville, Ga. – October 11, 2016 – Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful played host to a crowd of more than 600 community leaders, concerned citizens and up-and-coming environmental stewards at the environmentally-focused, community-based nonprofit organization’s 10th Environmental Address on September 27. The event featured Georgia Governor Nathan Deal for his third appearance at the Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful podium. During his speech, the Governor lauded Gwinnett County for doing “more than its fair share” where the environment is concerned, which he said can prove a challenge given Georgia’s population and job growth – often mutually exclusive to maintaining an ecological balance.
Deal cited some impressive statistics, including Georgia’s place as the 8th largest state in the nation in terms of population with 10.3 million people who now call the Peach State “home.” He also pointed to Georgia’s role as the best state in the country in which to do business, which was punctuated by his recent attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony for Mercedes Benz’ new national headquarters in Sandy Springs. Since Deal first took office in January 2007, an estimated 547,500 new private sector jobs have come to Georgia – driving unemployment levels to 4.9%. He pledged that even more growth is on the way, stating that Georgia is the envy of the nation in its transformation of the state’s transportation program and infrastructure – which includes 2,500 miles of resurfacing, 100 bridges replaced and 300 bridges repaired.
Committed to protecting and improving air quality in the 13-county Metropolitan Atlanta area that includes Gwinnett County, Georgia currently meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s one-hour federal standard for ground-level ozone and, according to the American Lung Association, has the cleanest air in more than a decade with regard to particulate and pollution levels. Statewide efforts being made to protect and improve air quality include burn bans (May-September), emission inspections, cleaner fuel for school buses, cleaner locomotives, and the promotion of telecommuting, as well as ride-sharing.
The Governor also conveyed the importance of keeping the state’s natural resources protected and communities clean and beautiful for the tourism draw they provide. With an estimated 100 million tourists visiting Georgia each year, that equates to about $58.9 billion in revenue. In addition to coming to see the natural wonders all across the state – from the beaches of the Golden Isles to the mountains of North Georgia to the 63 state parks and historic sites throughout Georgia – there are a number of up-and-coming draws. Those draws include SunTrust Field, the new home of MLB’s Atlanta Braves, and Mercedes Benz Stadium, the new home of NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Looking ahead, Atlanta has been slated to play host to Super Bowl 2019. To help keep Georgia’s streets safe and natural resources protected, the Governor has pledged a 20% raise for law enforcement in 2017 which includes Department of Natural Resources rangers.
With regard to water conservation, the Governor held Gwinnett County up as the one good example in the successful treatment of wastewater to return to local water sources, “You are our standard, and I compliment you greatly for that.”
In addition to the Governor’s Address, the event included two performances by the Peachtree Ridge Chorale, as well as remarks by Schelly Marlatt, GCB’s new Executive Director and Charlotte Nash, Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. The event concluded with the presentation of the GCB Scholarship at Georgia Gwinnett College, which totaled $5000 and was dedicated to GCB’s retired Executive Director, Connie Wiggins. Recipients of this year’s scholarships were Rayann Arslan and Tyler Heath, both Biology majors at Georgia Gwinnett College. Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s 10th Environmental Address was sponsored by Metro Waterproofing, Bellagem, Inc., Accent Creative Group, BrandBank, CAB Incorporated, Garrard, City of Peachtree Corners, and Precision Planning, Inc. among many others.
“We are just so grateful to Governor Nathan Deal for lending us his time and insights during our 10th Environmental Address, as well as to all of our wonderful sponsors for making this event a reality,” said Marlatt. “It’s important to remember how vital a role we all play in the environmental stewardship of the Gwinnett County community as we continue to grow and attract new residents, businesses and visitors. During his speech, Governor Deal spoke about our natural treasures. As I looked around the room filled with hundreds of faces, I saw a treasure in each one of them. We are truly thankful for their continued support of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and our efforts in and around Gwinnett County.”
About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful: Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is a Keep America Beautiful affiliate and award-winning 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It 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 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 clean and restore public places, recycle more, protect watersheds and develop the next generation of environmental stewards. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful, please visit www.GwinnettCB.org.