Environmental education is important because it:
- increases public awareness and knowledge of environmental issues
- teaches individuals critical-thinking
- enhances individuals’ problem-solving and decision-making skills
- increases individuals’ caring for the environment
Studies show that the U.S. public suffers from a tremendous environmental literacy gap that appears to be increasing rather than decreasing.
“We continue to be impressed with how much the recipients are able to accomplish with these grants,” said Sally Hanft, EPA’s Environmental Education grant coordinator in Seattle. “These grants support environmental education projects that allow students and adults to learn more about their environment. This year we awarded four grants out of 80 applications which show how competitive this grant program is.”
Nationally, EPA awarded more than $2 million in grants to 40 organizations across the nation.
These grants are awarded to local organizations, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, schools and universities whose projects strive to increase people’s knowledge and awareness about the environment and its associated challenges.
The recipients are:
Nuskagak-Mulchatna Wood-Tikchik Land Trust - $19,094
Tim Troll, 907-842-2832
P.O. Box 1388
Dillingham, Alaska 99576
The Bristol Bay River Academy
The Bristol Bay River Academy is a week-long non-formal environmental education program that merges salmon and river education with recreation and conservation principles to educate, engage and inspire 15 Bristol Bay young adults (ages 14-22) to become local leaders in salmon stewardship. Through hands-on experiences, discussion, and lessons from local experts, the project prepares the next generation of rural Alaska community leaders with the knowledge, values and skills necessary to uniquely engage in salmon conservation issues in their communities and have significant influence on local conservation decisions that will be made in the next decade. The project also prepares these young adults for job opportunities based on healthy salmon populations to reinforce the sustainable salmon economy of Bristol Bay and capitalize on engaging visitors in local conservation issues. The project seeks to strengthen the involvement of young people in community-supported and long-term protection of Bristol Bay’s wild salmon resources.
University of Idaho - $77,000
Ashley McFarland, 208-245-2422
P.O. Box 443020
Morrill Hall 114
Moscow, Idaho 83843
IDAH2O Master Water Stewards
The Master Water Stewards program is a citizen science program that trains youth and adults from diverse backgrounds to be volunteer stewards and collect water monitoring data and reinforce the concept of public ownership and stewardship of water resources. The program trains and certifies over 100 volunteers to monitor streams throughout Idaho. Stewards report assessment results back to a centralized data management system. These data are used to inform citizens about watershed conditions and to increase citizen knowledge on water quality issues. The program uses classroom instruction and intense field work to teach participants how to conduct habitat, chemical, physical and biological assessment, and watershed mapping techniques.
Long Tom Watershed Council - $47,000
Jason Schmidt, 541-653-0991
751 S. Danebo Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97402
Amazon Creek Toxics Education and Action
This project uses pesticide monitoring data from Amazon Creek and collaborates with a number of diverse committed stakeholders to educate five targeted audiences in the urban and rural areas of the watershed to improve pesticide and stormwater literacy. This project supports the efforts of the ongoing Amazon Creek Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP), the first PSP in an urban and rural setting. Project goals include: assemble balanced, scientifically accurate, current and comprehensive materials; recruit around 250 people from five key urban and agricultural audiences; provide outreach to diverse audiences including a Spanish translator for Hispanic populations; engage audiences in indentifying and implementing solutions; build relationships between experts & practitioners; develop individual BMP education for key sites and audiences; share results; and use ongoing water monitoring to measure success and provide feedback to support water quality actions. The project uses presentations, trainings, field visits, site visits, and written web-based materials to reach the five target audiences, incorporating behavior change principles and techniques.
Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction - $76,000
Gilda Wheeler, 360-725-4976
Old Capitol Building
P.O. Box 47200
Olympia, Washington 98504-7200
Implementing Key Strategies of the WA State Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Plan
This project implements three key strategies of the Washington State Environmental and Sustainability Literacy Plan and provides a continuum of pre-K-12 environmental and sustainability education. The strategies are: (1) embed and align environmental and sustainability concepts and elements of the Washington Native American Reading Curriculum into existing elementary grade high-use science instruction materials and provide professional development on the use of these lessons to reach 240 elementary schools and 4,800 students across the state; (2) develop and pilot model lessons that embed and align environmental and sustainability education into high-use early learning curriculum and programs targeting 10 early learning teachers; and (3) support Career and Technical Education 40 middle and high school teachers who will teach the new Washington State Green Sustainable Design and Technology Course.
EPA is currently working on the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the 2012 Environmental Education Grant Program. For more information about the 2012 grant program: http://www.epa.gov/education/grants.html, and also sign up by clicking the blue button (Grants Update) to be electronically notified when the RFPs are available.