The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced that a total of $632,897 in environmental grant funds have been awarded to 63 projects statewide, 50 of which engage youth and adults living and/or working in areas of environmental justice. Grants have been awarded to schools, institutions, conservation districts, and environmental and community organizations.
Among the projects receiving funding are $1,658 to the Potter County Conservation District to conduct two pond workshops, including PSU surface water testing and monitoring, for landowners and contractors, and 10 $732 to the Tioga County Conservation District to provide education for landowners and farmers in Tioga and Potter counties on how healthy soils can lead to profitable land management, protect water quality and combat climate change.
The state will also use $65,710 to implement the Pennsylvania Envirothon, a statewide project that encourages high school students to explore environmental issues and equips them with tools to create healthy communities through stewardship actions. The project will analyze the existing curriculum to determine ways to expand the engagement of teachers and youth in areas of environmental justice.
The Environmental Education Grant Scheme was created by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which requires setting aside five percent of pollution fines and penalties DEP collects each year for environmental education in Pennsylvania. Since its inception, DEP has awarded $12.3 million in environmental education grants to support 2,135 projects.