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EPA seeks Wheeling-area middle school students for summer environmental program

Release Date: 05/06/2008
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (May 6, 2008) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking middle school students in the Wheeling, W. Va. area to participate this summer in an innovative seven-week environmental education and leadership development program.

EPA's mid-Atlantic region, headquartered in Philadelphia, has been running the Student Environmental Development Program (SEDP) for 15 years, but this is the first time it is offered in the Wheeling area. The program runs five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 7 through August 18.

"The program is a great opportunity for students to learn more about the environment and get hands-on experience working on environmental issues," said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region. "Many of our SEDP graduates now know steps they can take to help the environment and ways to protect themselves from pollution."

Participation is open to students entering the eighth grade in the Wheeling area including eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. There is no admission fee and students receive a stipend and other benefits such as field trips and travel to other cities. Eligibility is based on the students' grades, behavior, attendance and how well the students demonstrate an interest in science, human health and the environment. Applications are due May 21.

EPA's SEDP is nationally recognized and has been replicated in communities throughout the nation. EPA's mid-Atlantic region currently sponsors programs in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Past programs have also been run in Chester, Pa., and Wilmington, Del. Around 550 students have successfully completed the program, and in turn have taught thousands of others. Some high school and college-bound alumni return in the summer as mentors to the middle school students EPA hosts and trains.

For an application or more information, visit or contact Debbie Storch at (304) 234-0235 or .