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EPA Education Grant Focuses on Puerto Rico's Shoreline

Release Date: 11/10/2008
Contact Information: Terry Ippolito (212) 637-3671, ippolito.teresa@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) Puerto Rico’s shoreline will be the focus for a new environmental education effort funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and spearheaded by the University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla. Under the program, students, teachers and community members will learn how to get rid of garbage and other debris that float on the waters’ surface and impact the land, waters and shoreline of Puerto Rico. University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla students will run workshops for teachers, students and local community residents throughout Puerto Rico. EPA has granted the university $49,861 for the project.

“It is so important for young people to experience and understand the ways in which daily habits can impact the wildlife and beauty of Puerto Rico’s shoreline,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “This program will engage children, teens, university students and adults in the effort to stamp out litter and floating debris that can mar Puerto Rico’s waters and shorelines.”

EPA’s local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded over $44 million in environmental education grants to support more than three thousand projects across the country. Agency partnerships, including with the National Environmental Education Foundation and the Environmental Education Training Partnership, have given thousands of formal and non-formal educators the skills and knowledge needed to teach students of all ages about safeguarding the environment.

The University’ program will teach participants to become environmental stewards and take action to change behaviors, like littering, that produce the debris that impacts local and global waters. The university students will conduct nineteen educational workshops for kindergarten through 12th grade students and six workshops for the general public. The program includes four beach and four lake cleanups to get students and members of the public involved in hands-on stewardship activities. University students will also develop public service announcements and enhance the marine debris Web site: http://vidamarinapr.blogspot.com/2008/03/banish-bags-amazing-picture-of-2lb-of.html

The UPR at Aguadilla Web site is http://www.uprag.edu

For more information on EPA’s environmental education programs, go to http://www.epa.gov/enviroed. Find out more about the 2009 educational grants program at http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html. EPA’s environmental education Web sites are: http://www.epa.gov/kids for K through Grade 4, http://www.epa.gov/students for middle grade students, http://www.epa.gov/highschool for high school students, and http://www.epa.gov/teachers for educators.

In addition to its ongoing environmental education program and other programs aimed at youth, EPA has developed publications and activities that highlight the importance of protecting children from environmental risks. This year, EPA launched a new campaign to educate middle and high school students about climate change and its effects on children's health. Teens will create a new climate for action by taking action to address global climate change and encouraging their friends and families to do the same. For more information on the new campaign, visit http://www.epa.gov/climateforaction/.

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