The Centers of Environmental & Economic Justice (CEEJ) in Gulfport, Harrison County, Mississippi, has been awarded a $100,000 grant for local environmental protection projects. The grant was awarded under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Cooperative Agreement Program to help communities develop collaborative strategies to achieve local environmental protection goals.
Under the CARE grant, CEEJ will create a self-sustaining community-based partnership; help the Gulfport community understand its pollutants and risks; set priorities for risk reduction and implement strategies for reducing exposures to local toxic pollutants.
Established in 2005, the EPA CARE program is a competitive grant program that offers an innovative way for communities to take action to reduce toxic pollution from numerous sources. Through CARE, communities create local collaborative partnerships that implement local solutions to reduce releases of and minimize exposure to toxic pollutants.
There are two types of CARE cooperative agreements. The smaller Level I cooperative agreements are approximately $90,000 each and help communities organize and create collaborative partnerships dedicated to reducing toxics in their local environments. Level II awards are larger – approximately $275,000 – and are designed to support communities that have already established broad-based partnerships and have identified the priority toxic risks in the community. Level II communities are further along in the CARE process and are prepared to measure results, implement the risk reduction activities, and become self-sustaining.
More information about CARE and the cooperative agreements is available at: http://www.epa.gov/care