Award Ceremony to Take Place During NYWEA’s 90th Annual Conference February 5-7, 2018 in New York City

RHINEBECK, NY –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 February 5-7, 2018 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 longterm 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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About the Omega Center for Sustainable Living

Founded in 2009, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) originated as the first building in America to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification—the highest standards currently available in sustainable architecture. The OCSL has since evolved into an environmental leader, offering programs that teach the regenerative thinking and environmental practices modeled by the building.

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 250 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world.

Press Contact

Chrissa J. Santoro, External Communications Director
150 Lake Drive Rhinebeck, NY 12572
845.266.4444, ext. 404