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Three Rhode Island Groups Receive $40,131 of EPA Environmental Education Grants

Release Date: 10/20/2003
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, EPA Press Office (617-918-1060)

BOSTON- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has awarded $40,131 of $198,700 in environmental education grants to three Rhode Island organizations. The three organizations are among 20 recipients throughout New England.

Selected from among 89 applicants nationwide, the three Providence organizations that received the grants were the: Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), Woonsaquatucket River Watershed Council and Save the Bay.

The grants are targeted to organizations that tackle community issues, environmental justice, curriculum development and environmental health issues.

"Environmental education is an important building block for ensuring a safe and healthy environment for future generations," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "These grants will support many of the state's most exciting environmental education programs focusing on such issues as water ecology, preservation and environmental justice issues."

    • Save the Bay, an environmental group, is receiving $13,408 to educate urban students on the connections between community activities and the environmental health of the Narragansett Bay estuary and its watershed while also increasing student commitment to environmental stewardship. Save the Bay will utilize the tested curriculum model developed by the Boston based Urban Ecology Field Studies Program to cultivate applied biology and chemistry in the classroom at the diverse Central Falls High School. The program will expose students to potential career opportunities while also incorporating environmental justice principles by teaching the basics of neighborhood advocacy.
    • The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), in partnership with the Cambodian Society and the Rhode Island Department of Health, is receiving $16,848 for its environmental education outreach program for the Southeast Asian community to increase environmental and public health awareness. The program targets the Southeast Asian community in Providence County, which is approximately 76% of the Asian population in the state and also tackles environmental justice issues through meetings organized by state agencies and community groups addressing public awareness and identifying environmental issues that affect the community. The partnership will develop techniques to target high-risk populations and concentrate on said communities to raise awareness of environmental health issues.
    • The Woonsaquatucket River Watershed Council, in partnership with the Joslin Community Center, Rhode Island Audubon Society, Rhode Island American Lung Association, Narragansett Bay Commission and Department of Health, is receiving $9,875 for its Youth Environmental Education Initiative. The initiative raises awareness of toxic sources in the urbanized Woonsaquatucket River corridor in Providence. The partnership concentrates on environmental health issues in children's homes and neighborhoods, and also educates them on preventative measures to increase the environmental safety, health and awareness of Olneyville's children.
For more information on the agency's education programs, visit the agency's web site at