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Non-Profit Receives Grant To Address Environmental Justice Concerns; Group Will Use Money to Monitor Water Quality and Educate Public

Release Date: 11/10/1999
Contact Information:

(#99178) St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted $14,250 to a non-profit group in St. Thomas to help them address environmental justice issues. The grant was awarded to the Boys and Girls Club at Bovoni to educate the public about environmental issues surrounding the Bovoni landfill.

"By awarding these grants, EPA hopes to empower members of minority or low-income communities by giving them a voice and to ensure that they do not shoulder a disproportionate share of pollution," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "All Americans deserve to be protected from pollution -- not just those who can afford to live in wealthy communities."

The Bovoni Landfill, located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has been the site of illegal dumping, wetlands destruction, and many fires over the past 20 years. Many of the local residents who live in low-income public housing near the landfill are not well educated about possible effects that such activities may have on human health and the environment. In coordination with the Reef Ranger Project and a trained scientist, the Boys and Girls Club of Bovoni will monitor water quality at the seashore and lagoons near the landfill. The results of this monitoring will be integrated into an environmental education program that will focus on marine ecosystems, which include coral reefs and mangroves; soil, air, and water quality; and local environmental justice issues. The education program will include workshops as well as hands-on experiences and camping at the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station (VIERS). Approximately 50 students will participate in the program. The students will share their newly-acquired knowledge with their communities through public presentations.

For more information contact:

Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: mears.mary@epamail.epa.gov