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Rockland, Maine Organization Selected for EPA Environmental Education Grant

Release Date: 10/06/2014
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – A Rockland, Maine organization was awarded a $100,000 environmental education grant by the US Environmental Protection Agency for a program that creates local energy teams to educate the community about climate change and other environmental issues.

The Island Institute at 386 Main St. in Rockland was one of 37 organizations in New England to apply for funding, and one of only two in New England to receive part of the $2.8 awarded nationally.

“Citizens who understand the environment and our challenges in keeping it clean will be best able to protect the air, water and land around us. We believe these grants will help children and adults learn more about what is needed to address the challenges of creating a clean and healthy environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

The Island Institute at 386 Main St. will use the funding to establish and support community energy teams, and provide them with action guides, energy investigation tools, and mini-grants. The aim would for energy teams including community members of all ages who would promote behavior changes and investments, and quantify the savings in dollars, kilowatt hours and pounds saved on greenhouse gas emissions. The project would develop and test a replicable model for a “K through Gray” an informal after-school environmental education program.

“The Island Institute is honored to be awarded this EPA environmental education grant, which will provide $100,000 for Energy for US: Community Energy Teams,” said Ruth Kermish-Allen, education director at the Island Institute. “This is an 18-month project that will train, inspire, guide, and support six inter-generational energy action teams to drive positive change in their communities, undertaking practical investigations and projects to save money and reduce climate change pollution.”

EPA funds environmental education projects that focus on educating teachers, students, parents or the general public about human health problems. These issues range from pollution; improving teaching tools and techniques for educators through workshops; building state or local capability to develop and deliver environmental education or public outreach programs; or promoting environmental careers and stewardship among students through hands-on activities.

The program also encourages projects that educate members of a community through community-based organizations, or educates the general public through print, film, broadcast, or other media to be more environmentally aware and make environment friendly decisions in their day-to-day lives.

The other New England group awarded a grant was:

The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island. The League received $150,000 to be used for the Community Environmental College, a two-year summer program for primarily teenagers of color from low-income urban areas. The project is aimed at teaching teens to improve conditions in areas disproportionately affected by environmental concerns. The program also teaches leadership through hands-on experiences with environmental education and program coordination. It is intended to encourage youth in careers that will address climate change and other environmental concerns. The program also emphasizes the effects of toxics on the human health and ways to make better choices.

More information:

- How to apply for EPA environmental education grants: (

- The 2015 Environmental Education Grant Solicitation Notice is expected to be released in this fall with an end of the calendar year deadline. Sign up for email notification of its release at

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