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EPA Grants Spur Environmental Stewardship In New Jersey's Kids and Communities

Release Date: 03/06/2007
Contact Information: Teresa Ippolito, (212) 637-3671,

(New York, N.Y.) In Wickatunk, 30 boys and girls will go on a career odyssey; in Lakewood, teachers and students will find out how plants can be “invaders”; middle schoolers in north central New Jersey will explore a local watershed; and university students in South Orange will partner with a local community to learn about the Rahway River. What do they all have in common? They are all recipients of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency environmental education grants, totaling about $40,000.

“The future caretakers of the environment are in our classrooms, parks, and universities today,” said EPA Regional Administrator, Alan J. Steinberg. “It is important to give them the skills and opportunities they need to understand their environment and take action to improve it. These grants empower today’s young people to become tomorrow’s environmental stewards.”

EPA’s local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded over 40 million in environmental education grants to support more than three thousand projects across the country. Agency partnerships, including the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation and the Environmental Education Training Partnership, have given thousands of formal and non-formal educators the skills and knowledge needed to teach students of all ages about safeguarding the environment.

The New Jersey grant recipients are:

Collier Services
Wickatunk, N.J. (732) 946-3519
Environmental Career Odyssey

Thirty boys and girls ages 11 to 14 will participate in a one week Career Odyssey. Monmouth County middle schoolers from traditionally underserved communities will participate in a program to increase their knowledge of the environment, develop responsible environmental behavior and expose them to careers in the environment. Participants learn about marine science, forestry, water pollution and habitat destruction. Field trips enhance the outdoor and traditional classroom experiences to foster environmental stewardship.

Georgian Court University
Lakewood, N.J. (732) 987-2349
Development of A Curricular Unit On Invasive Species With Focus On Phragmites australis.

Georgian Court University will develop an integrated curriculum unit on invasive species for use by middle school teachers. The unit, consisting of a series of lesson plans, and links to other appropriate and related sites, will be posted on the university's Web site. "Learning trunks" with materials for use by educators using the unit, will also be developed and will be available for loan by teachers integrating the unit into classroom programming. By focusing on a highly visible invasive species, teachers and students will develop a better awareness of how human activities impact the environment and increase their ability to act as environmental stewards.

The Pequannock River Coalition
Newfoundland, N.J. (973) 954-2968
River in the Classroom and Watershed Detectives

The Pequannock River Coalition will conduct two classroom programs with 4th through 6th grade students in Morris, Sussex and Passaic Counties in New Jersey to teach them about the Pequannock River and its watershed. Students learn about nonpoint source pollution, watershed dynamics and pollution prevention strategies for the Pequannock. Students will determine areas where temperature change has occurred and participate in native planting restorations at sites as a hands-on stewardship project.

Seton Hall University
South Orange, N.J. (973) 275-8268
Environmental Quality Monitoring and Public Education

Seton Hall University will develop a volunteer environmental quality monitoring and public education program for the East Branch of the Rahway River. University students will learn about surface water issues and monitoring data collection. They will share their knowledge and skills with community volunteers and organizations to promote environmental stewardship. Their efforts will focus on understanding the causes of pollution in the river and how to mitigate the environmental effects.

For more information on EPA’s environmental education programs, go to Find out more about the grants program at EPA’s environmental education web sites are: for Pre-K through Grade 4; for middle grade students; for high school students and for educators.