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Release Date: 6/17/1999
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

    Learning about creek habitat and urban ecosystems are some of funded projects

     SAN FRANCISCO--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the award of environmental education grants totaling $67,145 to nine Northern California organizations.

     Including the Northern California grants, EPA awarded grants totaling $160,000 to 19 organizations in Southern California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Arizona. Recipients of the grants include school districts, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, and city, county, tribal, regional and state government agencies.

     The grants, awarded under the National Environmental Education Act, provide funding to support projects that will address significant environmental issues.  The organizations contribute matching funds. For more information on EPA’s environmental education programs, access EPA’s web site at:

The recipients are:

Bay Area Action, Palo Alto - $5,000
“YEA TEAM” Student Directed Projects to Implement Recycling and Composting
The Youth Environmental Action (YEA) program unites Bay Area Action with the Ravenswood School District, Stanford University Haas Center for Community Service, and Students for Environmental Education. The program consists of five interactive classroom lessons covering issues related to water, waste, energy, the environment and community. Interns will meet with each class twice a month to guide students in their research projects, help them articulate goals, invite guest speakers and plan field trips. The projects may include establishing a school garden, initiating a compost program, or launching a school-wide recycling program. Contact: Amy Hui, (650) 625-1994.

California State University, Chico -$5,000
Streaminders -- Salmon and Steelhead Eggs to Fry in the Classroom
This project will expand the current program of nurturing salmon and steelhead eggs to releasable mature fish in classroom aquariums to include educating university students to act as mentors for the field study portions of the project. University students and their professors will lead the younger students in creek exploration field trips. These trips will include hands-on experience with riparian ecosystems, water quality testing, and discovery of creek biota. Contact: Suzanne Gibbs, (530) 342-3429.

City of Santa Cruz -- $2,550
Watershed Monitoring/Management and Drinking Water Production Workshop
This project is joint with the Santa Cruz Water Department, San Lorenzo Valley High School, and the Coastal Watershed Council to establish and conduct a “Watershed Academy” for high school juniors and seniors and teachers. The training will be conducted by water department environmental professionals and will include interpretive lectures, water quality monitoring, and role play. Students will learn about watershed land use and management, monitor supplies at the city’s reservoir for turbidity and sedimentation, tour the water treatment plant, and role play two meetings to establish the connection between policy making and public and ecosystem health. Contact: Chris Berry, (831) 420-5483.

Math/Science Nucleus, Fremont -- $15,500
Developing Environmental Benchmarks
This project will establish a partnership between Math/Science Nucleus, the city of Fremont, and the Fremont School District to create a ninth grade course of environmental education using watershed management at Laguna Creek as its basis. Local scientists will join with Irvington High School faculty to develop a lab-based course that monitors environmental parameters to test the health of creeks. The Environmental Benchmarks curriculum will encourage students to work together in teams to make positive environmental change in their community. At the conclusion of the project, a community conference will be held to present the findings. Contact: Joyce Blueford, (510) 790-6284.

Save San Francisco Bay Association, Oakland -- $5,000
Watershed Education Teacher Training Program
In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the association will offer watershed management training to 200 Bay Area teachers. The components of this training will include ten on-the-water workshops ranging from one day to two weeks, providing teachers with field trips for water quality testing, mapping , study of the components and value of wetlands, introducing teachers to issues affecting watershed health through a wide range of regional guest speakers and encouraging service learning projects for their students which enhance understanding and appreciation of a healthy bay. Contact: Paul Revier, (510) 452-9261, ext 116.

The Tides Center, San Francisco -- $4,300
Monitoring and Habitat Enhancement Program for At-Risk Youth
The museum staff, the city’s park and recreation department, and the faculty of Summit High School will join together in offering 20 at-risk youth and their teachers opportunities for habitat monitoring and restoration along Gallindo Creek on Mt. Diablo. Using the Adopt-a Watershed curriculum, classroom and field exercises will be conducted once a week during the school year. The projects’s main components will include creek/riparian zone clean-up and water quality monitoring, butterfly habitat enhancement, data base establishment and maintenance, and public presentations to the city council, parks department, youth council, and other interested organizations.  Contact: Leslie Crawford, (303) 442-3339.

Trinidad Rancheria, Trinidad -- $3,799
Environmental Education by Cascade Learning
Trinidad Rancheria will partner with Humboldt State University, Trinidad School District, and
North Coast Children’s Services to offer an environmental education program. Students in junior high school will be trained in environmental lessons that relate to their Native American culture. They in turn will teach these lessons to elementary school children.  The elementary school students will then teach the lessons to children enrolled at Arcata Head Start. Contact: Greg Nesty, (707) 677-0211.

WestEd, San Francisco - $20,996
One Week Summer Adopt-a-Watershed Institute
Scope, Sequence, and Coordination at California State University Sacramento will join in partnership with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of Cal EPA, the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California Department of Education, and UC Davis to create a week long workshop on watershed issues for 30 high school science teachers. The workshop will supply participants with comprehensive investigations into scientific information, science policy, risk issues, and experiments on watershed degradation and contamination. Contact: Helen Kota, (916) 278-4766.

Yosemite National Institute, Sausalito - $5,000
TEAM (Teen Environmental Action Mentorship)
This project will provide a ten day, residential field science training for 22 high school students from low income, culturally diverse Bay Area communities.  The training will: expose TEAM members to ecological concepts that can be applied to urban ecosystems, provide communication and leadership skills to enable them to work with peers and younger students in environmental learning, and introduce them to potential environmental careers.  During the school year the TEAM members will work with a school or organization to present classroom lessons and to design stewardship projects. Contact: Tanya Eckert, (415) 332-5776.