State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) who represents portions of Wilton, Norwalk and Westport, and state Rep. Geraldo Reyes Jr. (D-75) were presented with this year’s Environmental Champion Awards by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

The organization marked more than 34 years of protecting air, land and water resources with a celebration earlier this month. The legislators were honored for their leadership and commitment to protecting Connecticut’s environment and public health.

“CCE is proud to recognize policymakers, local businesses and nonprofits working to improve our environment, and we congratulate this year’s award recipients,” the organization said in a statement.

“These lawmakers have demonstrated a genuine passion for Connecticut’s environment, and a steadfast commitment to supporting policies that protect our health and our natural resources,” Louis Rosado Burch, Connecticut Program Director, said. “CCE is proud to recognize these lawmakers for their commitment to a clean and healthy environment, and we are eager to stand alongside our allies in Connecticut as we recognize our 2019 Environmental Champions.”

Lavielle was recognized for being a leader among the House Republican caucus on water protection issues, including passage of the State Water Plan, banning toxic fracking waste in Connecticut, and protecting the Norwalk River. Rep. Lavielle offered the following statement:

“I’ve always made environmental stewardship a priority; it’s essential not only to preserving Connecticut’s unique character and landscape, but also to its quality of life and economic viability," Lavielle said. “I consider environmental stewardship an important component of fiscal responsibility, an objective that should underpin everything we do. Water is not only an essential resource, but also a scarce one, and it's our obligation to protect it.”

Reyes has established himself as a leader among the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, having sponsored legislation to strengthen the state’s Sewage Pollution Right-to-Know law, as well as fighting to reduce pollution from single-use plastic bags, plastic straws and polystyrene food containers. He also fought to strengthen Connecticut’s Environmental Justice law, protecting urban communities from industrial pollution.

“I’m honored to represent and serve the people of Connecticut, and to stand behind this just cause. Nothing is more important than a healthy community — and that goes hand-in-hand with a healthy environment,” Reyes said. “As long as I am in the legislature I will continue to fight for environmental justice for all.”