The longtime head of West Virginia’s Project WET water education program has been awarded the organization’s highest honor for coordinators.
Rose Long was recently presented the “Petey” Award at Project WET’s conference in Bozeman, Mont. The award is named after Mary Sue “Petey” Giroux, who was Georgia’s Project WET coordinator prior to her death in 2008 and was known for her energy, enthusiasm and ability to inspire others. The “Petey” Award recognizes outstanding service, commitment and leadership in water education.
“Rose has been one of Project WET’s most active and vocal supporters throughout the years,” said Dennis Nelson, president and CEO of Project WET. “She is always willing to contribute and is never reluctant to take on new initiatives. Rose is a valued friend of the Project WET Foundation and we hold her in high esteem.”
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) was established in 1984 by the North Dakota State Water Commission to educate the public about water resources and its management. It has grown into an international organization. State programs are designed to facilitate and promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through the dissemination of classroom-ready teaching aids.
Long, who works for the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Water and Waste Management, has coordinated West Virginia’s Project WET program since its inception, 16 years ago.
“Our Project WET program continues to be a valuable tool in the agency’s efforts to take our message of promoting a healthy environment to West Virginia’s teachers and classrooms,” said DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman. “And for 16 years, Rose has been the driving force behind Project WET. Without her dedication and passion for educating the state’s youth about water resources, the program would not be where it is today.”
Long credited leadership at the DEP with playing a major role in helping the state’s Project WET program remain consistently effective in educating teachers and students about water issues.
“The agency places great value in education,” she said. “Children represent the future and the brainpower of our nation. It is of paramount importance to help the education community in the state by providing to them fun, hands-on materials that make the study of water interesting and engaging.”