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EPA funds $20,000 to the Hawai'i Nature Center for environmental education project

Release Date: 10/11/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711,

HONOLULU - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today a $20,000 grant to the Hawai'i Nature Center for a Hawaii watershed environmental education program for Title I elementary school students on Oahu and Maui.

The funding will be used for the Hawai'i Nature Center's "Hawaiian Watersheds from the Mountains to the Sea" program that allows teachers and students to participate in the center's watershed curriculum. The three-part program consists of project oriented, hands-on and investigative wetland, forest, and coastal experiences.

"This program follows a detailed action plan created by environmental educators and classroom teachers," said Kate Nooney, project officer with the EPA's Pacific Southwest Region. "The goal of the program is to teach science and instill an environmental ethic -- making a personal connection with nature -- while being well informed about Hawai'i's natural environment."

As part of the project, the Hawai'i Nature Center will:

* provide an outdoor environmental education experience on the Hawai?i watershed to 25 Title I classes on both Oahu and Maui;

* teach students about the forest's role in the watershed, role of streams and rives, reforestation, and geologic, biologic and human induced changes to the islands;

* show students the unique role of Hawai'i wetlands and marshes have in maintaining a healthy watershed and the problems caused by invasive species;

* teach students the role humans have played in changing the natural environment and how the coastal areas as part of a watershed ecosystem supports life on land and in the ocean; and

* engage students in restoration projects and teach them how they can create a better Hawai'i in their daily lives.

The program will provide 50 scholarships for Title I upper elementary classes on Oahu and Maui. Each scholarship will allow 45-60 students and 2 teachers from resource challenged schools to participate in the hands-on environmental learning programs.

To learn more about the project, contact Gregory Dunn or Ramsay Taum of the Hawai'i Nature Center at (808) 955-0100, email at, or visit the Hawai'i Nature Center website at:

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