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Release Date: 10/24/1996
Contact Information: Frank McIntyre, Office of External Programs, (617) 918-1095

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $2.1 million in grants to states, tribes, schools, universities, and non-profit organizations nationwide for environmental education initiatives.

There are 23 recipients of grants totaling $167,474 in EPA's New England region, including two in Maine. The New England recipients were selected from 153 proposals totaling requested funds of more than $1.6 million. Eighteen proposals seeking $154,048 came from Maine.

"These grants represent our smartest investment in the future," said John P. DeVillars, regional administrator of the EPA-New England. "There is nothing more important we can do than educate people about their role in protecting the environment to ensure future generations will inherit a cleaner world.

"Whether it's focused on the streets of South Boston or the wilderness of Maine, environmental education provides us with the most valuable tool in protecting our natural resources," added DeVillars. "I commend the recipients of these grants for their good work to infuse greater environmental awareness into the lives of New Englanders."

The Maine winners of 1996 Environmental Education grants are:
(Note to editors: A contact for grant recipient is also listed)

Pollution Prevention Education Project for the General Public -- Aroostook Literacy Coalition, Houlton $9,650
The Aroostook Literacy Coalition is a diverse, non-profit organization that proposes to educate people in the state's northernmost, rural county about pollution prevention by offering a seminar series in each of 6 locations throughout the county. Topics are based upon a statewide survey done under the "Maine Environmental Priorities Project" and include "Eco" tourism, air quality, sustainable, forestry practices, drinking water quality, and regulations for recreational vehicle usage. Seminars will also be designed so that participants develop strategies to balance economic development, tourism, recreation, and preserving the areas natural beauty in their communities. (Ervin MacDonald 207/532-6554)

Yard Waste Composting: Community Service Curriculum -- Houlton High School $5,000
This project plans to develop a core of trained students to set up and monitor a pilot project on yard waste composting during the 96-97 school year. It will educate local citizens on the importance of composting yard waste, allow students and teachers a chance to use an experimental science class designed around a real-life project, and provide citizens of the Houlton area with a local site to compost yard waste. Students will create experimental plots to test various compost recipes, rates of turning, and physical arrangements for compost formation. (Christy Fitzpatrick 207/532-6551)