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11 Year-Old Oceanside Resident Named Environmental Champion by EPA Region 2

Zoie Napolitano receives EPA Region 2’s highest honor for leading the effort to clean up Silver Lake Park in Baldwin.

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11-year-old Zoie Napolitano of Oceanside with Senator Todd Kaminsky.

Photo by: Office of Senator Todd Kaminsky.

Oceanside, NY - April 21, 2017 - U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice announced today that Zoie Napolitano, an 11-year-old resident of Oceanside, has been selected to receive a 2017 U.S. EPA Environmental Champion Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region 2. The award is the highest recognition presented to the public by EPA Region 2, and is given each year to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to improving the region’s environment.
Rep. Rice’s office nominated Zoie for the award earlier this year after she led an effort to clean up a local park near her house. Motivated to take action after noticing signs of pollution at Silver Lake Park in Baldwin, Zoie asked her State Senator, Todd Kaminsky, to help clean up the park and offered her assistance, outlining a number of steps she thought they should take to clean up the park and the lake within it. In response to her letter, Senator Kaminsky worked with Zoie to organize dozens of local residents, elected officials and organizations who came together to beautify the area – removing trash, clearing walking paths, and protecting the local habitat for wildlife. The clean-up was so successful that Zoie then worked with Senator Kaminsky’s office to organize another similar event at nearby Lofts Pond Park in Baldwin a few months later.
The EPA will honor Zoie and her fellow Environmental Champion Award winners at a ceremony next month in New York City.
“I’m thrilled that Zoie has received this prestigious award in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments as a leader and environmental champion in our district,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “Zoie saw a problem in her community, she saw a way that she could help solve it, and she stepped up to bring people together and get the job done. That’s what true leadership looks like. I’m incredibly proud that Zoie has received the recognition she deserves, I’m grateful to count her as one of my constituents, and I’m excited to see what this remarkable young woman will achieve in the future.”
Senator Todd Kaminsky: "Zoie cares deeply about the environment and making sure our community parks are clean, so when she saw a lake filled with trash and litter she took matters into her own hands and made her voice heard. I am extremely proud of Zoie and am glad she is being recognized for her hard work; this is the initiative and generosity we should be fostering in our youth. I am confident that Zoie will continue to set an example for all of us by working hard to keep our communities clean.”