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EPA awards Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington $94,000 for Environmental Education

Release Date: 07/23/2007
Contact Information: Sally Hanft, (206) 553-1207, hanft.sally@epa.gov; Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle, Wash. July 23, 2007) As part of its ongoing effort to enhance environmental education in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $94,000 for education programs in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

According to Sally Hanft, Environmental Education Grants Coordinator in EPA’s Seattle Office, this funding will promote and advance environmental literacy. These grants fund programs that help children understand and appreciate their connection to the environment.

“These grants support projects that allow students to learn more about wetland areas, water ecology and environmental justice issues," said Hanft. “We are impressed year after year with how much students, teachers and community members are able to accomplish with these grants. With environmental education grants, we get a great bang for our buck. ”

These grants are awarded to local organizations, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, schools and universities whose projects strive to increase people’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and its associated challenges. The grant recipients, projects and funding amounts are as follows:

Alaska

Sitka Community Schools – Cutthroat Creek Environmental Trail and Preserve - $17,150 – This project enhances environmental education opportunities in the Sitka School District by refurbishing and expanding the environmental trail and preserve to make it more usable for students and staff near a local elementary school, and updating the curriculum for the teachers’ use.

Idaho

Idaho Environmental Education Association – Idaho’s Next Steps in Building Statewide Capacity - $14,556 – This project aims to increase the environmental education capacity in the state by providing a year of leadership development and strategic planning. A trained facilitator will work with the Association’s board of directors to conduct a statewide needs assessment to find out the current needs of Idaho’s environmental educators. The board will also write a strategic plan for 2007-2012.

Oregon

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve – Algae Barley and Science Inquiry Project - $14,996 – The purpose for this project is to provide a real world project model of science inquiry and environmental stewardship for 10 educators and 250 middle and high school and college students which can be transferred to their community. The project involves the students in interaction with scientists working on a wetlands-based research effort. This project studies the effects of barley straw treatment on the suppression of algae and will model science inquiry processes and stewardship for clean water.

Tillamook School District #9 – Development Wetland Monitoring Curriculum as a Tool to Promote Environmental Stewardship and Vocational Training - $16,904 – This grant establishes a wetland study area where students monitor conditions, design and carry out restoration projects, analyze trends in wetlands due to human and natural causes and will provide an outdoor laboratory to design and carry out original research.

Washington

River Center Foundation – Continuing Education Workshops for Teachers - $14,998 – This grant develops and provides two continuing education workshops for 40 teachers to develop classroom lessons about the water quality, habitat protection, fish and wildlife of the Dungeness River watershed.

Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force – Restoration Education for Young Stewards (REYS) - $15,396 – This program provides students the opportunity to design and implement an experimental stream restoration project within their school’s watershed. REYS works with Snohomish County Surface Water Management, local city governments, local school districts and local tribal entities to offer students the opportunity to learn about ecosystems, enhance their skills in scientific inquiry and investigation and design solutions to real-world problems faced by restoration professionals.

Currently, EPA does not have an environmental education grant solicitation issued. Please check our national website for up-to-date information – http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html.

Schools, not-for-profit organizations, state and local government education or environmental agencies and tribal education agencies or not-for-profit tribal organizations are eligible to apply. The annual EPA grants program gives financial support to projects that increase the public’s awareness and knowledge about the environment and provide skills to make informed decisions and take responsible action.

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