Wednesday, October 26, 2016

EPA Awards $270K for Environmental and Health Projects in New England Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - (Boston, Mass., Oct. 25, 2016) – EPA has awarded 12 grants across New England under its 2016 Healthy Communities Grant Program, totaling approximately $270,566, to fund community projects addressing environmental and public health issues. The projects will reduce environmental risks, protect and improve human health, and improve the quality of life for communities and residents across New England.

The Healthy Communities Grant Program combines resources from several EPA programs to strategically address the environmental and public health issues burdening New England communities. Contributing programs include Assistance & Pollution Prevention; Asthma; Children’s Environmental Health and Clean, Green and Healthy Schools Initiative; Toxics; Urban Environmental Program; and Water Infrastructure (Stormwater, Wastewater, and Drinking Water). The program has competitively selected projects that will: assess, understand, and reduce environmental and human health risks; increase collaboration through community-based projects; build institutional and community capacity to understand and solve environmental and human health problems; advance emergency preparedness and resilience; and achieve measurable environmental and human health benefits in communities across New England.

The projects that have been awarded funding must meet several criteria including: (1) location in /or directly benefit one or more of the EPA’s identified Target Investment Areas; and (2) identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the EPA’s identified Target Program Areas. In 2016, the Target Investment Areas included: Areas at Risk from Climate Change Impacts, Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern, Making a Visible Difference (MVD) Communities, and Sensitive Populations. Target Program Areas included: Clean, Green and Healthy Schools; Community and Water Infrastructure Resilience; Healthy Indoor Environments; Healthy Outdoor Environments; and Tribal Youth Environmental Programs.

“EPA is very proud to provide much-needed funding to so many deserving projects in communities throughout New England states,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Our Healthy Communities Grants make a real difference advancing local projects that result in a cleaner environment that benefits people’s lives.”

Some recipients of the grant include:

CONNECTICUT

Charter Oaks Communities was awarded $25,000 for their “Fairgate Farm Community Composting Initiative” project. The project seeks to expand the recently launched Fairgate Farm Community Composting Initiative to educate Stamford’s West Side residents and businesses about composting by providing one-on-one outreach, hands-on composting demonstrations, and educational resources about the benefits of composting to educate residents, community partners, and volunteers. Additionally, the project team will distribute 5 and 50 gallon containers for compost collection and manage weekly compost drop-offs at seven local organizations. Project partners include: City of Stamford; Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County; Connecticut Food Bank; Franklin Street Works; New Covenant Center; Schofield Manor; Shop Rite; and Starbucks.

The Center of Ecological Technology was awarded $20,000 for their “Don’t Waste Bridgeport” project. The project seeks to reduce the quantity of wasted food by working with target wasted food generators in Bridgeport including K-12 public/private schools, venues, grocers, healthcare facilities, colleges/universities, hospitality facilities, and food rescue/donation organizations to reduce, donate, and compost as much wasted food as possible with the ultimate goal of reducing environmental impacts and getting needed food to residents in need. Project partners include: Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport (CCGB); Betsy & Jessie Fink Foundation; Community Plates; and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

MAINE

Wabanaki Health Wellness was awarded $25,000 for their “WaYS to Healthy Communities” project. The project seeks meld science and traditional ecological knowledge into an interactive curriculum for grades 6-12 to develop awareness among tribal youth regarding environmental stewardship as it relates to healthy community ecosystems, land and water. Three key activities include providing seasonal “mini-earth” camps for students, hosting a week-long camp for high school students and providing mentor/mentee internships at the greenhouses on tribal lands throughout Maine. Project partners include the Aroostook Band of Micmacs; Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians; Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point and Indian Township; and the Penobscot Indian Nation.

For the full list of recipients, visit the EPA website. For more information about EPA New England’s Healthy Communities Grant Program and the funded projects, visit their official page.

Contact Information: David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov) 617-918-1017

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