Director Daniel Blackman of United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)‘s Region joined South Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Control (DHEC) Director Myra Reece on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation to present Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) with the “Community Star Award.” DHEC’s Community Star Award recognizes a business, community organization, collaborative partnership, or individual that goes above and beyond environmental requirements in order to build better community relationships, promote environmental sustainability and resiliency, and/or improve quality of life for communities.
St. Helena Island native, Queen Quet who is the elected Head of State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation stepped up to ensure the public health and environmental safety of her people for decades. She has won several awards for the work she is doing to enhance the resiliency and sustainability of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry. The EPA and SC DHEC have partnered with the Gullah/Geechee Nation for decades and they wanted to honor the outstanding leadership of Queen Quet. They each acknowledged not only the need to protect the coastal communities, but to also sustain successful collaborations with those who authentically represent the cultural heritage communities in these areas. Therefore, they felt that Queen Quet exemplifies this and therefore, shines like the community star that she is.