Press Release

Gillibrand Hails Queens Non-Profits As Environmental Champions

Mar 21, 2013

Queens, NY – Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced that two Queens non-profits won the 2013 Environmental Quality Award.  The Community Environmental Center (CEC) in Long Island City and the American Littoral Society in Broad Channel – both of whom Senator Gillibrand nominated this past February – will receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious honor for their commitment and significant contributions to greening the city.

“I congratulate these outstanding Queens groups for their dedication to creating a cleaner New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “From improving the city’s quality of life, to creating new local green jobs, these environmental champions will help lead the way towards a green energy future for our city and our country.”

“Community Environmental Center is honored to receive this award from the EPA and we want to thank our great Senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, for nominating us,” said Richard Cherry, President of the Community Environmental Center. “Community Environmental Center has been bringing energy efficiency to New York City residents for nearly 20 years. We deeply believe that there is a need to keep fighting the effects of climate change by making our buildings and homes sustainable. We all have an enormous challenge ahead of us, but with help from organizations such as the EPA and from our elected officials, if we work together, we can protect this earth for our children to live on. Our motto is: ‘Helping to save our fragile earth, one building at a time.’”

“As stewards and advocates for Jamaica Bay and New York’s coastal environment we greatly appreciated the nomination from Senator Gillibrand and are thrilled that we are being recognized for our restoration and educational work,” said Don Riepe, Director of the American Littoral Society’s Northeast Chapter. “I and my staff look forward to receiving the award on April 19th.”

Established in 1994, the Community Environmental Center is a non-profit leader in the growing field of energy efficiency. Located in Long Island City, Queens and serving the entire New York Metropolitan Area, CEC has been a major provider of construction and technical services for green buildings, and a proponent of green living and working conditions, especially for underserved populations. CEC recently unveiled EcoHouse, a mobile environmental learning center showcasing energy efficiency building technologies that travels to schools and community events. From 1994 to 2011, CEC retrofitted 17,752 housing units through New York State’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). In 2003, CEC founded Solar One, NYC’s first solar-powered Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center; and, in 2005, Build It Green!NYC, NYC’s first not-for-profit program committed to salvaging building materials and furnishings.


Headquartered in New Jersey with a northeast chapter located in Broad Channel, Queens, the American Littoral Society has promoted the study and conservation of marine life and habitat and empowered citizens to care for the coast through advocacy, conservation, and education since 1961. Following Hurricane Sandy, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation commissioned the Society to coordinate a regional assessment to evaluate environmental impacts the storm had on coastal habitats and its species. The resulting study identified both region wide impacts, changes to specific habitats, and a focus on protecting conservation areas such as national wildlife refuges.


Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that have improved the environment and public health in EPA Region 2 (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and seven federally-recognized Indian Nations), will be formally presented to New York organizations in a ceremony on Friday, April 19th at the EPA Regional Headquarters in Lower Manhattan.