September 23, 2011 - NJ State Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) will receive the Spirit of Baykeeper award at the NY/NJ Baykeeper's  15th Annual Clambake on September 25, 2011 on the chapel grounds of Fort Hancock, Sandy Hook, NJ.   The Senator is receiving this award for his commitment to the NY/NJ Harbor and in particular his work with NY/NJ Baykeeper's oyster research and restoration project.

"We are honored to recognize Senator Kyrillos' commitment to our work.  His non-partisan approach to environmental issues benefits all of the 22 million residents of the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary," says NY/NJ Baykeeper, Deborah A. Mans. "Senator Kyrillos has been a steadfast advocate for Baykeeper's oyster restoration and research in the Raritan Bay - championing our work with the Administration and helping facilitate a solution that allowed us to resume our research at NWS Earle in Middletown. He has also been instrumental in the future preservation of a key natural area in Aberdeen, Monmouth County."

Since 1989, NY/NJ Baykeeper has served as the citizen advocate for the bays, streams and shores of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary-stopping polluters, championing public access, influencing land use decisions, educating the public, and preserving and restoring habitat.  Baykeeper remains committed to continuing the three core programs that have driven its work over the years: the Policy and Advocacy Program, which seeks to shape and enforce water quality, land use, and coastal policies that impact the Estuary; the Conservation Program, which preserves remaining habitat and open space throughout the Estuary through the identification, acquisition, and restoration of endangered sites; and the Oyster Restoration Program, which creates new oyster beds in order to both monitor and improve the health of the Estuary's ecosystem. 

Joining Senator Kyrillos in being honored by NY/NJ Baykeeper are:  Suzanne Mattei (former Region 2 Director, New York State Department of Environmental Protection), Monmouth Conservation Foundation, Sarah Chasis (Senior Attorney- Director, Ocean Initiative, Natural Resource Defense Council), and Bart Chezar (Bay Ridge Flats Oyster Project).