Two Connecticut groups selected for EPA Environmental Education Grants
An aquarium program for sixth graders in Norwalk, Conn. and a New Haven educational program for high school students were recently awarded a total of $46,281 in environmental education grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, which received a $25,082 grant, will use the funds to teach 6th graders from the Norwalk Public School District about runoff pollution affecting Long Island Sound. Students will learn how human activity impacts water resources in Connecticut and its ecosystems through educational kits, field trips, school and home activities, and science presentations. Families are also encouraged to participate and learn about non-point source pollution.
New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, which received a $21,199 grant, educates high school students on their urban ecosystem and how increasing the tree canopy of the city affects and improves their environment. Students lean how tree canopy affects air quality, sequesters carbon, reduces storm water runoff, and increases property values. Students also look at ecosystem data developed by the US Forest Service on the role of canopy effects.
These grants were among nine environmental education grants totaling $189,000 chosen this year by EPA’s New England office from among 65 applicants. These grants fund projects that focus on improving teaching skills for educators, typically through workshops; educating teachers, students or the public about the environment and potential health problems stemming from environmental pollution; helping states or communities to develop and deliver environmental education programs; or promoting environmental careers among students.
“Education plays a central role in protecting our environment,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England Office. “Community members who learn more about the land, air and water around them know better what is needed to address the challenges of creating a clean and healthy environment.”
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