HARRISBURG – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has invited schools, colleges and universities, county conservation districts, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and businesses to apply for Environmental Education Grants to develop programs and projects.
“These grants fund projects that explore many of today’s most pressing issues,” Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “Providing opportunities for all Pennsylvanians to increase their understanding of environmental issues fosters life-long environmental stewardship.”
The grants provide funding to develop programs and projects that support environmental education about important issues, including:
- Watersheds: Abandoned mine drainage, non-point source pollution and water conservation.
- Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education: Reducing non-point source pollution, such as nutrient and sediment loads; and meaningful educational watershed experiences for students.
- Air Quality: Ground level ozone, transportation and electric generation issues.
- Brownfields: Education and outreach programs in brownfield redevelopment and sustainable communities, along with developing green, open spaces.
- Energy: Educational programs on energy efficiency and conservation; as well as, natural gas, coal, wind, solar and other energy sources and technologies.
- Environmental Literacy: Engaging educators and stakeholders in content standards and field-based environmental education.
- Environmental Education Certification: Developing and implementing institutionalized and community-based certification programs designed for teachers, naturalists and educators working in schools and environmental education facilities.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: teacher professional development; curriculum integration; outdoor learning resources, such as trails, shelters, streamside plantings and educational programming; transportation to field study sites; water chemistry testing equipment; and educational events. Grants are awarded up to $3,000.
In April, DEP awarded 92 grants totaling more than $334,000 to groups in support of environmental education programs across the state. Since the program’s inception, the department has awarded nearly $8 million in grants.
The program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993 and mandates that 5 percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by DEP be set aside for environmental education.