Public Communications & Outreach Committee

The Public Communications and Outreach Committee (PCOC) facilitates communications between our members and the public on water environment issues. The committee is a resource for FWEA members looking to enhance their public education efforts, providing support through the development and implementation of educational resources. 

The mission of the PCOC is to educate the public about the water profession. The PCOC accomplishes this through several projects and programs such as:

High School Student Video Contest
Stockholm Junior Water Prize
Water Festivals and Educational Events
Resources for Teachers
Networking Water Educators
Promoting WEF PCOC Initiatives

The PCOC meets virtually on the third Friday of each month from 12-1 PM and once a year in person at the Florida Water Resources Conference.
All FWEA members are welcome to join the PCOC meetings by contacting the PCOC Chair.

Committee Officers

Shea Dunifon
Pinellas County Utilities
(727) 582-2898
Contact for Public Education Awards.

Vice Chair
Arpita Meher
(407) 659- 5552
Contact for Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

Past Chair
Chuck Olson
F.J. Nugent

Maraida Balaguer-Barbosa
Jones Edmunds 
(813) 258- 0703 (ext 1801)

Video Contest
Debbie Sponsler
Orange County Utilities
(407) 254-9802

Alex Maas

Stockholm Junior Water Prize

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) is the most prestigious international youth award for a high school water science research. Its purpose is to increase students' interest in water-related issues and research, and to sensitize them - as future leaders - to global water challenges. The International SJWP was founded by the Stockholm Water Foundation. HRH Crown Princess Victoria is the patron of the prize. In a royal ceremony, during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, the international winner receives $5,000 USD and a blue crystal sculpture in the shape of a water droplet, crafted by Hanne Dreutler.

In the United States, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and its member associations, host the U.S. SJWP competition with support from ITT Industries, The Coca-Cola Company and Delta Airlines. WEF member associations select state SJWP winners and sponsor the student and student's teacher travel to the national competition.

FWEA Participation
For over ten years, members of the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA), through the FWEA Public Communication and Outreach Committee (PCOC), have worked at the local and state level to facilitate the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition.

The U.S. competition begins each school year during regional high school science fairs in each state that are affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair. These regional fairs feature science projects in 14 scientific categories. Many FWEA members participate as judges at these regional fairs throughout Florida, seeking projects that fit the criteria for the Florida Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition.

The event is open to projects that aim to improve the quality of life by improving water quality, water resources management, water protection, water treatment, wastewater treatment, water education, or the social-related aspects of water. Projects may focus on local, regional, national, or global topics.

Florida Statewide Competition
Regional science fair participants whose projects fit the criteria are encouraged to enter the statewide Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition this year. Click here for more information or contact the Public Communications and Outreach Committee's Stockholm Jr. Water Prize lead with any questions.