The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a total of $244,428 in environmental education grants to the Plumas Audubon Society in Quincy, Calif., Education Outside in San Francisco, Calif., and the Napa County Resource Conservation District in Napa, Calif. The grant funds will be used to educate students on the effects of climate change on wildlife, help elementary students understand the science behind their local watersheds, and to engage high-school students in stewardship, conservation, and natural resource management issues in their local community.
“We’re delighted to support these student-focused environmental projects,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “These projects will unleash much youthful energy and creativity in support of our local watersheds.”
Plumas Audubon Society was awarded an environmental education grant of $91,000 to educate students from rural families in Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra counties in Calif., about the different species of birds in the area and the steps they can take to help address the causes and impacts of climate change on wildlife. These students, approximately 750 youths from low and medium-income families, will also carry out service-learning projects that transform lawns into bird-friendly and climate-wise habitats.
Education Outside was awarded an environmental education grant of $90,000 to fund its Water Literacy to Action project to help San Francisco Unified School District students and community residents understand the science behind their local watershed. Education Outside will provide 44 AmeriCorps members with 40 hours of water-related training that will enable them to teach lessons in schools and communities. Overall, over 12,000 students and 650 teachers at 44 SFUSD elementary and K-8 schools will participate in the project and will be prepared to be stewards of their watershed and promote water conservation in San Francisco.
Napa County Resource Conservation District was awarded an environmental education grant of $63,428 to engage high-school students in local environmental stewardship concepts and building resiliency to global climate change. The funds will also provide high school students with hands on learning opportunities through field trips, leadership training, and career exploration in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics careers in conservation. Students will also engage in regularly scheduled community stewardship events, such as Coastal Cleanup Day, dog park clean-ups, and fall community oak tree planting days.
Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 million and $3.5 million in grant funding per year, for a total of over $68 million supporting more than 3,600 projects. The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Office received over 75 applications this year. This highly competitive grant program supports environmental education projects that increase public awareness about environmental issues and provide participants with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. The program provides financial support for projects that create, and promote environmental education practices, methods or techniques.
For more information on Environmental Education Grants, please visit: www.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants