coa cindy zipfPhoto: Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action

Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien to deliver keynote address

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sunday, March 6, 2016, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez will host his Sixth Annual Women’s History Month event featuring the Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Awards honoring six New Jersey women for theirexceptional achievements, including Clean Ocean Action Executive Director Cindy Zipf of Highlands.  Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien will deliver the keynote address.

The Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Awards were created in tribute to the Senator’s mother, who came to the United States from Cuba to give her children a better life and who passed away in 2009 after a long, courageous fight with Alzheimer’s disease.   

“My mother, Evangelina, for whom this award isnamed, showed me the meaning of courage, integrity and the importance of fighting for what’s right, every single day of her life,” said Sen. Menendez.   “She blazed that trail for me and I will continue to honor her and all of the women whose strength, wisdom and tireless determination to stand up for the people they serve make our country and our state a better, safer, cleaner place to live, work and raise a family.”  

As the head of Clean Ocean Action—the only fulltime ocean advocacy organization dedicated to the N.J./N.Y. region, Zipf sets high standards for grassroots organizing with tangible results.  She uses her passion for science and advocacy to create campaigns and programs to drive public policy and reduce ocean pollution.  She reviews and evaluates regional, state, and federal policies for impacts to marine water quality and, through science and research, works toward solutions for issues of concern.

Under her stewardship, Clean Ocean Action has successfully fought to end ocean dumping by closing all eight ocean dumpsites by 1997; create and coordinate the largest grassroots environmental program in N.J., Beach Sweeps, since 1985; organize the coalition to diligently work with the State of New Jersey to enact the strongest fertilizer laws in the nation in 2012; block three offshore liquefied natural gas industrial projects off N.J. and N.Y. leaving the ocean still wild and industry-free; and in 2013 helping communities clean-up from Superstorm Sandy’s  devastation by instituting the  Waves of Action program, which engaged nearly 14,000 volunteers in 281 projects in 70 towns in N.J. and N.Y. 

Zipf also serves on several boards including: the American Littoral Society (Sandy Hook, N.J.), 1987-present; Environmental Endowment of New Jersey, 1993-present; and Charter Board Member of Blue Frontier Campaign (Washington, D.C.), 2002-present.

This year’s ceremony will honor six pioneering women who have made significant contributions to the Garden State and our country in law, health care, education, community and environmental advocacy.  The other awardees are:

·       Paulette Brown; President, American Bar Association

·       Kyung Hee Choi; VP Asian Health Services, Holy Name Medical Center

·       Chelsea Collins; NJEA Teacher of the Year, Woodstown Middle School

·       Michellene Davis; Executive VP for Corporate Affairs, Barnabas Health

·       Siomara Sanchez; President, National Association of Cuban-American Women

To attend this free event, please visit or call (973) 645-5967.


          WHAT:         Evangelina Menendez Trailblazer Awards

          WHEN:         3:00 p.m.

                              (Media setup by 2:45 p.m.)

          WHERE:       Montclair State University

                              University Hall, 7th Floor

                              30 East Normal Ave.

                              Montclair, N.J.