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Release Date: 8/4/1998
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

     (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced the award of environmental education grants totaling $61,456 to 12 Northern California organizations.

     "Education is the key for people to understand the world around them and make meaningful choices in their lives and communities," said Felicia Marcus, U.S. EPA's regional administrator. "These grants will help young people to a greater understanding of how we are all linked and responsible for both our local and global environments."  

     Including the Northern California grants, EPA awarded grants totaling $200,000 to 25 organizations in the western states. 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 will provide funding to support projects that will address significant environmental issues.  The organizations will contribute matching funds. For more information on EPA's environmental education programs, access EPA's web site at:

The recipients are:

African American Development Association, Oakland -$10,250 Environmental Education Network Collaborative This project will establish a model environmental science corridor for urban youth from middle school through graduation from a college or university. By linking the faculties of a middle and high school with a community college, a program of culturally and community relevant environmental projects will enable youth to follow a path leading to careers in the environmental field. A network of environmental professionals will provide teacher training and follow up classroom support. Using a nearby marsh and lake as outdoor classrooms, older students will act as role models and instructors for younger peers as they explore ecosystems and study environmental justice issues.

California State University, Chico -$5,000 Streaminder Salmon and Steelhead From Eggs to Fry This project will offer an eight hour workshop linking salmonid life cycles with stream ecology to 30 K-12 teachers in support of native fishery restoration.  Students of the teachers will be afforded the opportunity to raise salmon and steelhead from eggs to a stage where they can be released into local streams.  In conjunction with their fish nurturing project, students will visit nearby streams to study riparian ecosystems, test water quality, and conduct bioassessment. From data collected students will determine whether a healthy habitat exists to release the salmon and steelhead fry they have cared for.

Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center, Crockett -$4,860 Training High Risk Youth in Habitat Restoration This project will equip 15 11th grade continuation high school students and their science teachers with the knowledge and skills needed for restoring a portion of a historic riparian habitat.  Each week for 32 weeks an urban horticulturist and wildlife specialist will guide students by small group instruction and field experiences through the cycle of habitat restoration: site preparation, propagation and reintroduction of native horticulture and wildlife and methods of monitoring habitat vitality.  The project will have built in sustainability in that the students and teachers who are currently being trained will become the mentors for the next year's class.

Fortuna High School, Fortuna -$4,495 Fortuna Integrated Watershed Study This project will establish an integrated science curriculum at the ninth grade level which focuses on project-based interdisciplinary study of local creek conditions.  Allied with the Fortuna Creeks Project, Fortuna Parks and Recreation Department, and Americorps Watershed Stewards Project, the high school science department will lead students in water quality monitoring, stream habitat assessment, macro invertebrate sampling, riparian restoration, and spawning survey activities.   The incoming freshman class will be trained to use scientific instruments in a real world setting,  interpret their collected data, act as mentors and peer teachers, and network with the community with recommendations for stewardship of local natural resources.

Green City Project, San Francisco -$5,000 Careers in Environmental Education This project will combine partnerships with San Francisco Recycling, California Coastal Commission, California Native Plant Society, and San Francisco Park and Recreation Department to train twenty high school youth from inner-city neighborhoods to become docents to twenty elementary school classrooms in the city.  The selected high school applicants will choose from a field of three areas of study: waste management, habitat conservation, or water issues.  Students will devote two hours a week in preparatory sessions for twelve weeks where they will not only master their subject, but will also learn speaking skills and how to create presentation materials.  In the spring semester, the youth will be matched with an elementary school teacher to work with the younger children in completing a hands-on community project in the docent's area of study.  

Lindsay Wildlife Museum, Walnut Creek -$5,000 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 the slopes of 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.

Oakland Recycling Association, Oakland -$5,000 Recycling Education and Resource Center This project will partially fund one intern to provide recycling outreach programs for 90 fourth through sixth grade classrooms in Alameda County.  The program provides a hands-on, interactive learning experiences about waste reduction and natural resource conservation through classroom art projects using materials recovered from the waste stream, field trips to the Transfer Station, establishment of a compost program, and targeting a specific recyclable material for research on its origin and uses.  The program demonstrates usefulness of objects otherwise considered as garbage and encourages students to think before purchasing items with elaborate but non-recyclable packaging.

San Francisco Conservation Corps, San Francisco -$5,000 McLaren Park Youth in Action Project This project will join the corps with the Park and Recreation Department to support native plant restoration work in a square mile park of rolling hills in the southeast portion of the city. Through the corps' Youth in Action program, 50 older teens will be equipped to teach units on native plant ecology and restoration techniques.  The older youth will then work with 100 middle school students to develop knowledge and skills needed  to become stewards of the park, conducting service projects focused on removing non-native and restoring native plant species.

San Joaquin Office of Education, Stockton -$5,000 Project FEED (Families Exploring Environmental Dilemmas) This project will involve 30 county elementary schools in developing a family-oriented event that will offer hands-on activities designed to increase awareness to health threats from natural resource pollution, and from solid and hazardous waste practices.  To prepare parents and staff at each school to stage such an event, the project will develop a manual based on the successful practices presented in the California Department of Health Services' No Waste Anthology and the Alameda Office of Education's Toxics: Taking Charge. Follow-up training for parents and staff will cover the materials and logistics needed for staging a successful event, tips for attracting family participation, and troubleshooting problem areas.  A mentor from the science, health, or environmental fields will assist each school by making a presentation on the goals of Project FEED, answering questions, and interacting with families as they prepare for and participate in their event.

The Tides Center, San Francisco -$3,017
Environmental ACTION: Teacher Training Workshop This project will offer training to 20 secondary level teachers in the Tanque Verde Unified School District of Tucson, Ariz. on integrating environmental education into their daily classroom offerings. Environmental ACTION, a six part module for grades 6-12, has proven effective in the development of environmental awareness, critical thinking skills, and scientific learning.  Support for classroom implementation will include match up of partner organizations and agencies to provide speakers fluent with specific environmental topics to introduce subject matter to students.

Ukiah Unified School District -$5,000 Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project This project will provide partial funding for an Amercorps volunteer to act as the environmental coordinator for the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education site, a 45-acre plot of undeveloped land of flat and steeply sloping terrain along the Russian River.  In dedicating the land for educational purposes, the school district established the goal of providing experiences for students, teachers, parents, and the community that would focus on all aspects of nature, wildlife, and ecosystem/ habitat protection.  The coordinator's responsibilities will include maintenance of the site, scheduling of classes for field trips, assisting teachers in leading field trips, and managing research projects.  Regular testing of water, air, and soil will provide data to increase awareness to health threats from environmental  pollution.  A portion of the funds will be used to offset bus transportation costs for students that must take transportation to the site.  

Yolo Basin Foundation -$3,834 Discover the Flyway Utilizing partnerships with Central Valley Habitat  Joint Venture, California Fish and Game, and U.S. Corps of Engineers, this project will present day long teacher workshops aimed at middle school instructors to encourage field study in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, a 3,700 acre tract in the heart of the Pacific Flyway.  Each workshop will provide participants with wetlands education materials they can use before and after a field trip to the wildlife area.  One of the project's goals is for students to develop long-term interest in wetlands issues.  

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