News Release
November 20, 2003


TAMPA, Fla. – Gulfstream Natural Gas System, L.L.C., today announced the winners of the 2003 Gulfstream Environmental & Recreational Trust program, distributing $52,700 to assist in the development of unique environmental and/or recreational projects near the pipeline route and surrounding communities. Grant winners include:

  • Volunteer Services of Manatee County, Inc. (Manatee County) – Developing a program designed to train youth volunteers to identify and address community environmental issues. Grant award: $10,000; Contact: Adraine LaRoza, 941/761-3207.
  • Florida Trail Association, Inc. (Martin County) – Installing interpretive signage and footbridges on the Lake Okeechobee Ridge Park Trail that will offer hikers a five-mile hiking trail through the longest undisturbed remnant of the Lake Okeechobee shoreline. Grant award: $10,000. Contact: Judy Trotta, 352/378-8823.
  • SCUBA Scouts (Pinellas County) – The Boy and Girl Scouts of Palm Harbor are conducting underwater surveying of coral reef habitat in Tampa Bay as part of a long-term monitoring program. Grant award: $7,500. Contact: David Olson, 727/787-4488.
  • Hardee County Health Department (Hardee County) – Developing a fitness trail on the 14-acre site of the Hardee County Health Department. Grant award: $7,000. Contact: Jim Griffin, 863/773-4161.
  • Heartland Horses & Handicapped, Inc. (Highlands County) – Provides free horseback riding and interaction with horses for children and adults with special needs. These services are provided to the special needs population in Highlands, Hardee, Polk and Okeechobee counties.  These funds are being used to establish a permanent riding facility on 7 acres on College Dr., Avon Park so the program can expand and offer a Special Equestrian Olympics training site.  Grant award: $7,000. Contact: Sandra Kuhn, 863/655-0553.
  • Martin County Audubon Society (Martin County) – Providing a copy of Everybody Loves Birds program to elementary schools, libraries and Audubon Society chapters. Grant award: $5,000. Contact: Nathalie Browne, 772/288-2637.
  • Suncoast Earth Force (Hillsborough County) – Program designed to provide local youth with the opportunity to apply environmental problem-solving skills within their communities. Grant award: $3,500. Contact: Cindy Benkert, 727/521-1403.
  • Manatee County Audubon Society (Manatee County) – Installing signage to identify 30-acre Felts Preserve. Grant award: $2,700. Contact: June Harrington, 941/722-5902.

The Gulfstream Environmental & Recreational Trust program was created in 2000 to distribute at least $350,000 during the first five years of pipeline operations to benefit communities near the pipeline route. During the first three years of the program more than $200,000 has been distributed.

More than 30 written grant applications were submitted from Jan. 1 to Sept. 15, 2003. An Advisory Resource Network consisting of environmental experts met in November to determine which projects would receive funding and how the dollars would be distributed. Grants were awarded based on community need, environmental benefit and ability to complete the project as proposed.

The application deadline for the 2004 Gulfstream Environmental & Recreational Trust program is Sept. 15, 2004. Applications are available on the Gulfstream web site at

Placed into service in May 2002, Gulfstream Natural Gas System, L.L.C. is a 581-mile pipeline system with the capacity to deliver 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day to serve Florida’s growing energy needs. The pipeline is a joint development between Williams (NYSE:WMB) and Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK).

Contact: Chris Stockton
Phone: 713/215-2010
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
e-mail: N/A