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EPA Supports Environmental Education Projects in Puerto Rico

Release Date: 08/26/1998
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(#98111) San Juan, Puerto Rico -- Two environmental education projects in Puerto Rico have received a total of more than $10,000 in grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Agency announced today. Each year, EPA awards grants to non-profit organizations, educational institutions and local and tribal government agencies for educational projects designed to build greater understanding of the environment and concern about the impacts of pollution.

"These projects will help improve both the environment and the quality of life for many Puerto Ricans," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "One project will help the farm workers of Puerto Rico protect themselves from contamination to which they may be exposed on the job. Another project will establish a recycling program that will bring students and members of the local community together to tackle their solid waste disposal problem. EPA's funding encourages the development of effective environmental education at the grassroots level."

The Puerto Rico Department of Education will use it's $5,800 grant to establish a recycling program with a sustainable development approach at the Soller Agricultural-Vocational School located in a rural farming community. The Department of Education will train and educate faculty members and school personnel on how to use environmental education methods and recycling techniques, and how to use problem-solving and decision-making techniques to teach students and members of the community about the importance of recycling.

Comite De Apoyo Los Trabajadores Agricolas (CATA) will use its $5,000 grant to educate and empower Puerto Rican farm workers and their children to take an active role in protecting themselves from environmental hazards that could lead to health problems. The project will be conducted in southwest Puerto Rico where there is a heavy concentration of migrant farm workers. CATA will conduct a study of the current environmental hazards that the farm workers face, educate the farm workers about the hazards of exposure to pesticides and how to reduce it, and develop leadership skills among farm workers enabling them to shape their future.

The annual grants are authorized under the National Environmental Education Act, which is currently up for re-authorization. EPA Region 2, which covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, received 104 applications requesting a total of $1.34 million in funding. The available $200,000 was distributed to 24 recipients from across EPA Region 2. For information on how to apply for an Environmental Education grant in EPA Region 2, contact Teresa Ippolito, EPA Region 2 Environmental Education Coordinator, at 212-637-3675.

For more information contact:
Mary Mears, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3669 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: