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About the Award

Christi Veleta was one of the City of Jacksonville’s most devoted employees for over 30 years. During her tenure she displayed the highest levels of professionalism in her work with the Environmental Protection Board. A common thread throughout her career was a passionate focus on a better quality of life for all the residents of Duval County through environmental education, awareness, and action. She provided unparalleled community service and continuously displayed outstanding initiative. 

The Environmental Protection Board established the Christi P. Veleta Environmental Award in recognition of her more than two decades of meritorious service to the people of Duval County, commitment to environmental issues and her devoted protection and preservation of our natural resources. The award recognizes an individual who has exhibited, over a long-term, environmental stewardship, displayed superior environmental initiative, and consistently promotes environmental education and outreach.

Past Winners include:

2010 - Christi P. Veleta
2011 - Mark Middlebrook
2012 - Kevin Songer
2013 - Ron Littlepage
2014 - Dr. Quinton White
2015 - Felicia Boyd
2016 - Lucy Cortese
2017 - Sarah Boren

2018 Christi P. Veleta Environmental Award

The 2018 award was presented to Jimmy Orth during the EPB-UNF Environmental Symposium held at the UNF University Center on September 14, 2018.

Jimmy Orth has been a tireless advocate for sustainable living and the protection of our environment for close to two decades and has demonstrated his strong commitment through his personal life and professional career. In the late 90’s, he was a founding member of the Environmental Wackos which was an informal support group of young environmentalists, and he also was the local leader of the Sierra Club’s Inner City Outings which provided safe, fun and educational wilderness trips to low-income youth.  

In 2004 the St Johns Riverkeeper organization discovered him and selected him as their first executive director where he continues today.  While the face of the organization has been someone else, it is Jimmy’s passion, desire and wisdom that has positioned the organization to its status as one of the most visible and influential in the region. He continues to develop programs that provide environmental education to both adults and the future leaders of or community.


Jimmy Orth accepted the award from
Environmental Protection Board members Amy Y. Fu and Gabriel DuPree.