South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award

South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award

The S.C. Environmental Awareness Award, now in its 30th year, was established by the S.C. General Assembly during the 1992 legislative session to recognize outstanding contributions made toward the protection, conservation, and improvement of South Carolina’s natural resources. 

Each year the public is invited to submit nominations that are reviewed by an awards committee. Members of the awards committee represent the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, S.C. Forestry Commission, S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and S.C. Sea Grant Consortium. In judging nominees, the committee considers excellence in innovation, leadership, and accomplishments that influence positive changes affecting the natural environment.

Call for Nominations for 2022 Award

The state of South Carolina is seeking nominations for an award to recognize individuals who are doing extraordinary work for the natural environment. Nominations will be accepted through August 12, 2022.

Nomination Guidelines

Areas of accomplishment include, but are not limited to:

  • Protection, conservation, or improvement of soil, water, or air
  • Protection or conservation of native plants, animals, or their habitats
  • Improvement of natural resource management
  • Benefits to wildlife (game or non-game)
  • Increased recreational or aesthetic values

Nominees must:

  • Be a South Carolina resident
  • Possess upstanding moral character
  • Exemplify extraordinary dedication to preserving and improving the environment and natural resources of South Carolina

Criteria and Judging

Nominees for the award will be judged based on the impact of their accomplishments to protect, conserve, or improve our natural resources and environment. Specific criteria include the following:

  • Degree of innovativeness, originality, or pioneering in the accomplishments
  • Degree that accomplishments promote leadership in protecting the environment
  • Size, scope, and impact of accomplishments
  • Degree that accomplishments promote educational opportunities for the public
  • Degree that accomplishments influence positive changes affecting the environment at the local, state, or national level
  • Short- or long-term benefits to the environment

Nominating an Individual

All nominations must include completed nomination forms as well as written responses to address the ten (10) information requests presented below. Nominations may also include up to two photographs, no videos please. Completed nomination forms and materials should be emailed to no later than August 12, 2022.

Description of Accomplishments

  1. Summary: Provide a concise summary of the nominee’s accomplishments in the protection, conservation, or improvement of our natural resources and environment.
  2. Innovative or pioneering: In what ways have the accomplishments of the nominee been innovative, original, or pioneering in the protection, conservation, or improvement of our natural resources and environment?
  3. Leadership development: How have the nominee’s accomplishments promoted leadership in protecting, conserving, or improving of our natural resources and environment?
  4. Financing: How were the nominee’s accomplishments financed?
  5. Job related: If the nominee had paid job duties that included their noted accomplishments for protection, conservation, or improvement of our natural resources and environment, how has the nominee exceeded those job requirements?
  6. Team supported: How were other people or partners involved in the work of achieving the nominee’s accomplishments?
  7. Scope of impact, people: How many people have been positively affected by the nominee’s accomplishments?
  8. Scope of impact, area: What geographic area(s) was covered by the nominee’s accomplishments? How are the accomplishments providing benefits at a local, state, or national level?
  9. Scope of impact, time: Have the nominee’s accomplishments provided short or long-term benefits to natural resources and the environment? Please describe.
  10. Public education: How have the nominee’s accomplishments promoted educational opportunities for the public (related to protecting, conserving, or improving of our natural resources and environment)


Please contact Barbara Neale at 843-953-0245 or for additional information.

Previous Winners of the Environmental Awareness Award

2020 – Jane Hiller, Education Director, Sonoco Recycling (SC DNR)
2019 – Dr. Gloria McCutcheon, Claflin College (SC FC)
2018 – Dr. Patrick McMillan, Clemson University (SC Sea Grant)
2017 - Sean Poppy, Savannah River Ecology Lab (SC DHEC EQC)
2016 – Vacant
2015 – Mark Madden, Charleston County PRC (SC DNR MRD)
2014 – George W. McDaniel, Ph.D., Director of Drayton Hall Plantation (SC DHEC OCRM)
2013 – Joseph R. Hamilton, Founder of the Quality Deer Management Association
2012 – Thomas Kester, Chairman and Treasurer for the Conestee Foundation
2011 – Dr. Patricia J. DeCoursey, Professor of Biological Sciences at USC
2010 – Frank S. Holleman, III, President, Naturaland Trust 
2009 – Dr. Fred Holland, Coastal Ecologist, Charleston 
2008 – Benjamin Ziegler, Chairman, Pee Dee Land Trust 
2007 – Dr. Richard Porcher, Jr., Professor Emeritus, The Citadel 
2006 – Rick Huffman, Founder, South Carolina Native Plant Society 
2004 – John L. Knott, Jr., President, Noisette Company, North Charleston 
2003 – Burris Family, Owners, Cypress Bay Plantation Tree Farm, Beaufort 
2002 – Dr. Jack Turner, Director, Watershed Ecology Center, Univ. of South Carolina 
2001 – James D. Elliott, Jr., Founder, South Carolina Center for Birds of Prey 
2000 – Dr. Dave Hargett, Conservationist, Greenville 
1999 – Kenneth Strickland, Environmentalist, Florence 
1998 – Yancey A. McLeod, Jr., Environmental Educator, Eastover 
1997 – Brad Wyche, President, Friends of the Reedy River, Greenville 
1996 – Beaufort County Clean Water Task Force 
1995 – Dr. Whitfield Gibbons, Senior Research Ecologist, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory
1994 – Marion Burnside, Chairman, SC Department of Natural Resources 
1993 – Dana Beach, Executive Director, SC Coastal Conservation League 
1992 – Rudy Mancke, Naturalist, SC Educational Television