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News Releases from Region 01

EPA Awards Two Massachusetts Groups $171K for Environmental Education Initiatives

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EPA Public Affairs

BOSTON - Two Massachusetts organizations that will involve students in becoming smarter and better stewards of the environment were awarded a total of $171,116 by the US Environmental Protection.

Manomet Inc. of Plymouth, and Mystic River Watershed Association, were given EPA Environmental Education funds for programs to educate the community and students about environmental issues. The two grants were among three environmental education grants awarded by EPA in New England.

"The projects taken on by these organization will help make a brighter future for New England communities," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Young people, educators and communities taught how to address the problems and challenges of environmental protection are bound to play a part in a healthier world tomorrow."
The Mystic River Watershed Association received $80,116 for a two-year Mystic River Herring Run Project that connects city students with the herring migration with the goal of improving environmental literacy among students on riverine ecology; increasing knowledge of environmental stewardship of water resources and educating communities to reduce storm water pollution that affects the Mystic River watershed. The project creates, maintains and shares a web portal about the Mystic River watershed, fish, and water quality and allows the community help count fish in the river herring migration. The association is hosting workshops in schools, field trips to fish ladders, and stewardship events along the river.  With six school districts involved, some1500 students and 200 adults are expected to participate.

"The Mystic River Watershed Association is excited to bring the herring migration to the larger community and especially local schools through the installation of underwater video cameras," said Beth MacBlane, outreach and communications director of the Mystic River Watershed Association. "This new program will connect thousands of people to this amazing rite of spring - the herring migration."

Manomet Inc of Plymouth was given $91,000 for a project that will educate students about sustainability with small business sector. This two-year project is an expansion of a program to help college students in the environmental or business departments learn more about climate change, energy, water, and toxins and how to apply problem-solving and analytical skills to environmental challenges. It will help students look at how sustainability strategies can be applied to business models and help small businesses reduce their environmental impact. Five universities in New Hampshire and Maine have signed on as sub-grantees for the student internship program along with sustainable business organizations who are hosting students. The students are helping local businesses operate more sustainably, which will reduce their environmental footprints and use of toxic chemicals, increasing climate resiliency, and developing greater local stewardships. Between 30 and 80 students and 12 to 15 small business owners are expected to participate. 

"We are incredibly grateful to the EPA for this grant to support the growth of Manomet's new experiential education program for colleges," said Lora Winslow, project manager. "Manomet will train dozens of students to address the complex environmental challenges facing their generation, and provide roughly 1,200 small businesses with tools to reduce their environmental footprint. Thanks to the EPA, this program will have long-lasting and far-reaching impacts for the students, their communities, small businesses, and our planet."

The other New England organization awarded an environmental education grant was Groundwork Providence, in Providence R.I.

EPA funds environmental education projects that focus on educating teachers, students, parents or the general public about human health problems. These issues range from pollution; improving teaching tools and techniques for educators through workshops; building state or local capability to develop and deliver environmental education or public outreach programs; or promoting environmental careers and stewardship among students through hands-on activities.

EPA's Environmental Education grants encourage projects that educate members of a community through community-based organizations, through educational institutions or through print, film, broadcast, or other media to be more environmentally aware and make environmentally friendly decisions in their day-to-day lives.

More information on EPA environmental education grants  (www.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants)