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The Omega Center honored for Sustainable Living

March 1, 2018 11:35 am

RHINEBECK — The New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA), a statewide nonprofit organization of leaders in water quality management, is presenting the 2017 Sustainability Award to the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) during the NYWEA 90th Annual Conference Feb. 5-7 at the New York City Marriott Marquis.

“We are proud to recognize the Omega Center for Sustainable Living with NYWEA’s 2017 Sustainability Award. Omega has instituted policies and practices that support the need for long-term preservation of assets, human capital, and natural resources while satisfying present day needs, societal goals, and its environmental mandate,” said Patricia Cerro-Reehil, executive director at NYWEA.

“Water is one of our most precious resources, and it’s critical that we all do our part to protect it,” said Robert “Skip” Backus, chief executive officer at Omega Institute and founder of the OCSL.

“To receive this acknowledgement from the NYWEA, an organization with a rich history of helping to lead the way for state and national clean water programs, is an honor. We share their commitment to safeguarding water, and to educating people on issues of consumption, access, and preservation,” concluded Backus.

Backus will be accepting the Sustainability Award at the NYWEA conference in New York City.

The NYWEA chose the OCSL for its 2017 Sustainability Award in recognition of its exemplary wastewater treatment system, known as the Eco Machine™. The system is entirely carbon neutral, using solar power­ and a combination of conventional and alternative technologies, including wetlands and infiltration systems.

“This treatment system embodies the spirit of NYWEA by effectively creating a sustainable system that protects natural resources and educates the public on this very important topic,” concluded Cerro-Reehil.

The OCSL provides educational opportunities for students, teachers, architects, environmental activists, policymakers, and visitors to Omega’s Rhinebeck, New York, campus and online. In addition to environmental conferences and workshops, the OCSL offers an innovative 4-week residential permaculture certificate program, with an option for college credit, called the Ecological Literacy Immersion Program (ELIP).

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