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EPA Awards $1.5 Million in Environmental Education Grants

Release Date: 10/06/2010
Contact Information: Dale Kemery (News Media Only) kemery.dale@epa.gov 202-564-7839 202-564-4355 Jalil Isa (News Media Only) isa.jalil@epa.gov 202-564-3226 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – In an effort to improve environmental literacy and stewardship across the country, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to 14 organizations in 11 states and the District of Columbia. The organizations will use the money to fund environmental education efforts, which work to inform the public of environmental issues and help them make educated choices on actions they can take to reduce negative environmental impacts.

“Every American community relies on clean air, water and land for their environmental and economic health. We want to help expand awareness on how they can get involved in environmental protection,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. ”These grants will help communities across the country show how a clean environment starts at home.”

The grants help EPA expand the conversation on environmentalism by increasing the number of underserved audiences that participate in the agency’s programs and activities. This year, some of the grant money went toward helping tribal communities set up leadership programs, letting students step outside the classroom in order to learn about the environment, and working to help students understand the importance of water quality, among many other projects. Highlights from this year’s recipients include:

The Native Wellness Institute of Gresham, Ore. received nearly $100,000 to implement the “Native Youth Environment Warriors” project, which will provide environmental education and leadership training and support to native youth and their community mentors to design and implement environmental projects in their tribal communities.

The Island Institute of Rockland, Maine received nearly $120,000 for the “Energy for Maine” project, which includes community discussions and analysis of renewable energy sources. The project is aiming to increase home and school energy efficiency through student/teacher, and family-generated solutions for reducing energy consumption.

The annual awards are given to nonprofit organizations, government agencies, community groups, schools and universities. The recipients of the 2010 competition represent a mix of organizations addressing a variety of environmental issues from climate change to water quality, and dealing with local, regional, or national issues.

EPA awards the funds under the 1990 National Environmental Education Act, which gives the agency the authority to support and create environmental education programs nationwide.

More information about EPA’s environmental education grants recipients: http://www.epa.gov/education/grants.html