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Federal Government Grants $17,000 To St. Croix Groups For Environmental Education Projects

Release Date: 08/19/1999
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(#99140) New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it has granted approximately $17,000 to two St. Croix organizations for projects that will educate students, parents and teachers about environmental and human health issues affecting residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The grants, part of EPA's environmental education program, are awarded annually to non-profits, educational institutions and local and tribal government agencies that demonstrate the ability to help communities understand and care about what are often complex environmental and human health issues.

"This year's grant winners have displayed an outstanding commitment to educating residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands about the very real effects the environment can have on their lives," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "The EPA environmental education program relies on local groups like these to bring home the message that a clean environment means safer and healthier children and adults, and the preservation of the Virgin Islands' ecosystems for all to enjoy. We look forward to seeing the results of the groups' good work."

EPA's New York City office received 139 applications for environmental education grants of less than $25,000 each this year, and awarded 19 grants including two in the Virgin Islands. For information on how to apply for an environmental education grant, contact Teresa Ippolito, EPA Regional Environmental Education Coordinator, at (212) 637-3675.

The following are descriptions of the 1999 EPA environmental education grants made in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

St. Croix Aquarium and Marine Education Center, $5,000
Frederiksted, St. Croix.
Education Program: Marine Ecosystem Protection Video
This program will increase marine ecosystem education in the U.S. Virgin Islands by training Aquarium staff to teach educators, students and the general public about protecting their local marine ecosystems. Staff participants will learn how to engage their constituencies in activities to help them better understand local environments and how untreated sewage discharges, commercial activity and non-point source pollution impact the island's coral reefs and other priceless ecosystems. A video is being produced to facilitate training current and future staff.

St. Croix Environmental Association. Inc., $12,014
Christiansted, St. Croix
My Environment
With this grant, the St. Croix Environmental Association will double the number of children its My Environment program reaches. The program emphasizes the special characteristics of and impact of human activity on St. Croix's land and sea ecosystems, and consists of after-school, Saturday and in-school programs, and an Earth Day EcoBFair. The over 2,000 youngsters currently participating in My Environment study a Caribbean Sea food web, learn about the importance of mangroves, go on field trips, and do hands-on activities that teach the importance of solid waste reduction, reforestation and community involvement.

For more information contact:
Nina Habib Spencer, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3670 FAX: 212-637-4445 E-Mail:habib.nina@epamail.epa.gov