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USA: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Awards Multiple Grants to Boost to Environmental Education

Six grants to launch programs across New York State

(New York, N.Y. — July 17, 2012)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $50,000 grant to support an environmental education projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands. EPA is providing funding to support work that Beyond Visions, Inc. of Christiansted is doing with a group of local organizations to implement stewardship projects in marine ecosystems.

Beneficiary: Beyond Visions, Inc., Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI $50,000
Grant Specifics: Beyond Visions will support the "Nature Explorers' Club Environmental Alliance" efforts to carry out projects that benefit local marine ecosystems. The goal of the projects will be to increase the public's understanding of how their actions impact the marine environment. Alliance members will participate in classes and work with community leaders to conduct beach clean ups, promotion of reusable shopping bags and monitor sea turtle nests. Each Alliance member will produce a marine or sea turtle conservation public service announcement that will be showcased at an Environmental Stewardship Conference.

Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator said:
"EPA is proud to provide $50,000 to Beyond Visions, Inc. to support the education projects about the importance of the marine environment that local community organizations will conduct in the U.S. Virgin Islands".


The EPA has also awarded grants that will support environmental education projects in New York.
Teachers College of Columbia University was awarded a grant to support smaller environmental education programs and the Rochester Institute of Technology received a grant to teach child care providers how to reduce toxic hazards in their homes. In addition, the Yorkshire Pioneer School District, in Cattaragus County, received a grant to train teachers and students how to implement community based water pollution prevention programs.

Beneficiary: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY $40,000
Grant Specifics: RIT will implement its "Reducing Prenatal, Newborn, and Young Children's Exposure to Environmental Health Hazards through Parent Education Classes" project in an underserved upstate community. RIT will engage caregivers in environmental health workshops to teach participants how to reduce exposure to household toxics. The participants will be recruited from the Rochester City School District's Young Mothers Program and Rochester General Hospital's Prenatal and Postnatal Childbirth team. All materials developed for this series of workshops will be available online.

Beneficiary: Yorkshire Pioneer Central School District, Cattaraugus County, Yorkshire, NY $30,573
Grant Specifics: The school district's program, "Pioneer Project to Safeguard Waterways and Restore Wildlife Habitat" reaches students, community members and farmers in a rural area. Participants will learn about and install strips of vegetation as part of a habitat restoration project to decrease pollution in the community. The program includes field trips, educational sessions, classroom instruction and active engagement in water quality improvement projects. Partners include Waste Management of New York, LLC and the Cattaraugus County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Beneficiary: Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY $149,930
Grant Specifics: The Center for Technology and Social Change at Teachers College, in partnership with The Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia's Earth Institute, will use the EPA grant money to award sub-grants that will support hands-on environmental education in Kindergarten through 12th Grade classrooms. Teachers College will award sub grants in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A minimum of 19 sub grants of less than $5,000 will be awarded. Teachers College will support the sub-grantees by conducting a leadership summit, monthly webinars, and a blog to support communication among stakeholders. There will be a culminating conference to share projects and discuss implications for EE at the policy level. Information about the sub grants is available at http://ctsc.tc.columbia.edu/designing-community-projects/ .

Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator expressed that:
"EPA's support of projects, like those being launched by Teachers College, RIT and the Yorkshire Pioneer School District, underscores the importance of bringing knowledge of the environment to young people, for example, the RIT grant is an example of efforts to improve the environment and health of our children, even the very youngest."


A $27,800 grant that will support a significant environmental education project in New Jersey has also been awarded by U.S. EPA. The Township of Woodbridge received the grant to work with high school students in a community based restoration project along the Raritan River.

Beneficiary: Township of Woodbridge, Woodbridge, NJ $27,800
Grant Specifics: The township will conduct the "Woodbridge Township Wetlands Restoration Education Project" involving students and teachers in three high schools. Seminars, field trips and family science nights will focus on the "El Paso site" and other wetland and Brownfields sites along the Raritan River. The project is designed to increase community understanding of the causes of pollution, how to prevent it, and the kinds of stewardship projects and programs that can be implemented.

Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator is quoted as saying:
"U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proud to provide support to the Woodbridge, NJ community in their efforts to educate high school students about the need to clean up the Raritan River."


Another U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Grant has been awarded to support an important environmental education project in Puerto Rico.

Beneficiary: Universidad del Turabo, Gurabo, PR $70,000
Grant Specifics: The university's "Teachers and Community Harboring Environmental Vigilance of the Island Stewardship" program will engage thirty junior high science teachers in field trips, hands-on experiences, workshops and symposia focusing on critical local environmental issues. The program will then provide the educators with professional development of video imaging skills needed to produce web pages on local environmental issues. The web pages will correlate with the Puerto Rico Department of Education's Environmental Science Curriculum.

Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator said:
"EPA is happy to provide $70,000 to support the work of 30 science teachers in Puerto Rico to sharpen their video imaging and web training and develop websites to teach young people and adults how their everyday actions can improve the environment,"


EPA's local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education.

Since 1992, EPA has funded over $55 million in environmental education grants to support more than three thousand projects across the country.

Agency partnerships, including those 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.