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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Funding Will Foster Meaningful Community Participation in Environmental Issues Impacting the Bronx and Brooklyn

Contact Information: 
Carsen Mata (

(New York, N.Y. – October 30, 2017) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded grants to two New York City organizations that will help educate and empower communities in New York City.  The grants were awarded under the EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, which supports the work of community organizations that are working to find solutions to local environmental and public health issues.  

Environmental Justice Small Grants were awarded to:

Rocking the Boat - $29,108 in the Bronx, for their project, “Monitoring Bronx River Water Pathogen Levels: Awareness Leading to Empowerment.” Through this project, Rocking the Boat will train high school students from the underserved neighborhoods of the South Bronx to monitor pathogens at six sites spanning the Bronx River over the course of a year. This information will help determine increases and decreases in pathogen levels related to various factors, such as rain. Throughout the year, students will present monitoring results, findings, and conclusions at five community outreach events that typically reach 600 residents each. The Bronx River Alliance, a project partner, will make all water monitoring data publicly available through their online database, as well as on EPA’s STORET database, a public repository of water quality data.

The Fifth Avenue Committee - $29,977 in Brooklyn, for their project “Turning the Tide: EJ Curriculum for Building Grassroots Leadership in Red Hook and Gowanus.” Project partners include the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc., Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and the Red Hook Initiative. Fifth Avenue Committee will develop and promote a curriculum for public housing residents in Red Hook and Gowanus, Brooklyn. Topics covered will include indoor and outdoor air quality concerns, as well as the health and management of local waterways. The training is geared toward housing developments that are home to nearly 10,500 residents living in over 4,700 units dealing with a wide range of environmental and health issues. The information will be presented in Spanish and English. The project will foster resident engagement by providing opportunities to educate others, organize, and participate in public processes for a cleaner and safer environment. The proposed final curriculum will include up to eight workshops, each for 15-25 community participants.  

EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program is designed to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks, and funds projects up to $30,000 a year. More information about EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants Program: 

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