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EPA Announces Environmental Education Grants for Syracuse University and the Onondaga Environmental Institute

Release Date: 12/03/2014
Contact Information: Jennifer May-Reddy,, 212-637-3658

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding nearly $335,000 in environmental education grants to support projects in New York and Puerto Rico. The Onondaga Environmental Institute will use the grant to strengthen community relationships with natural resources and to increase public awareness of the various environmental planning processes at work in the Onondaga Lake watershed. Syracuse University, will use its grant to provide underserved areas in Puerto Rico with education and outreach to promote environmental stewardship in local communities.

      “EPA is happy to support these important environmental education projects,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. Tomorrow's leaders need to be equipped for tomorrow's challenges and protecting our environment is a critically important challenge for all of our futures.”

      Specifics of the grants are as follows:

      Onondaga Environmental Institute, Onondaga County, NY - $134,392
      The not-for-profit organization’s program, “Reviving Place: Onondaga Lake Watershed Community Mapping and Environmental Planning Education,” reaches students and community members in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The grant will be used to develop an educational program for middle school students that will foster personal connections to their local environment, as well as develop skills in evaluating environmental project ideas. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community events that incorporate intergenerational teaching to extend the outreach to adults in the community. Additionally, through community tours, the creation of community maps, and regional informational trainings, the community will gain knowledge about local natural resources and strengthen their relationships to those resources. Informational videos will also be produced to teach the community about environmental planning processes and how to evaluate or get involved in proposed watershed and waterway projects.
      Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the Center for Sustainable Community Solutions at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY - $200,000
      EFC will implement its “Generating a Replicable Environmental Education Network” project in underserved Puerto Rico communities. EFC will work with more than 7,000 college students, K-12 students, local organization members, and local governmental leaders in an integrated Environmental Education Stewardship program. This program will teach waste reduction, recycling and composting and green infrastructure concepts and skills to support expanding environmental projects throughout Puerto Rico. EFC will also develop hubs in four centrally-located institutions where stewards and the public can conduct workshops and access information, curriculum, and resources necessary for teaching and implementing environmental education projects. Additionally, EFC will sub-award ten $5,000 grants to organizations that develop waste reduction, recycling and composting and green infrastructure programs throughout Puerto Rico.

      EPA’s local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded more than $55 million in environmental education grants to support more than 3,500 projects across the country. Agency partnerships, including with the National Environmental Education 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.

      More information about EPA’s environmental education programs and a link to sign up for future environmental education grant announcements can be found at: