EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson recognized young people from across the country at the 2008 President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) ceremony yesterday. These students have made outstanding contributions to environmental protection through projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and protect America’s waters, according to an EPA press release.

“The President joins me in honoring these students for leading the way towards a brighter future for their communities and our planet,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “In each of these amazing projects we see our country’s future for clean energy, preservation, healthy communities and a well-protected planet.”

The 10 individuals or teams of students who will be awarded are from Derry, N.H.; Pittsford, N.Y.; Moscow, Pa; Lewisville, N.C.; Chesterland, Ohio; Edmond, Okla.; Scottsbluff, Neb.; Provo, Utah; San Leandro, Calif.; and Kenai, Alaska.

These students developed projects in both urban and rural settings that involved hundreds of community members, educators, policy makers and national celebrities in environmental science research, community recycling, wetlands and coastal ecosystem education and restoration, energy conservation and climate change education campaigns.

Winners were selected from among applicants to EPA’s 10 regional offices. Regional EPA panels judged the projects on environmental need, accomplishments of goals, long-term environmental benefits and positive impact on local communities. The panels also consider project design, coordination, implementation, innovation and soundness of approach.

PEYA has been presented annually since 1971 to honor students in kindergarten through 12th grade who design and implement innovative environmental projects.