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EPA AWARDS FOUR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS IN NEW JERSEY

 EPA AWARDS FOUR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS IN NEW JERSEY
 NEW YORK, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has awarded grants totalling $17,880 to four New Jersey environmental and educational entities to support environmental projects. These grants are the first of their kind under the National Environmental Education Act (NEEA), signed by President Bush on Nov. 16, 1990. Nationwide, EPA awarded 218 grants with a total value of $2.4 million. EPA Region 2, which covers New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, awarded a total of $140,000 to 17 New York and four New Jersey recipients. EPA Administrator William K. Reilly said, "Education is the first step in increasing people's awareness about how their individual actions affect the environment. The more people understand, the more likely they will be to assure that their behavior contributes toward a more environmentally sound future. We very much encourage individuals and corporations to join together in public-private partnerships to foster environmental education."
 "Choosing the recipients of the environmental education grants was an educational experience in and of itself because there was such a diversity of proposed projects," said William J. Muszynski, Region 2 deputy administrator. "I am pleased with the overwhelming response to our call for applicants. Region 2 received 263 applications for the grants, requesting more than $3.6 million. My only regret is that we could not fulfill every request."
 The four New Jersey recipients are Montclair Board of Education, Montclair N.J.; Pinelands Regional School District, Tuckerton, N.J.; Cherry Hill Public Schools, Cherry Hill, N.J.; and Collier Services, Wickatunk, N.J.
 Montclair Board of Education's project is entitled "Courtyard
Conservation: An Environmental Education Project". The project involves developing a curriculum for an outdoor education site in Watchung, N.J. where teachers, students and area residents can learn about interrelationships in both natural and man-made environments. Construction funds for the outdoor center, which will include gardens, a pond, a weather station, ornithological areas and compost sections, will be funded by non-EPA sources. The EPA grant will be used to train educators to use the center to its fullest extent. Montclair Board of Education was awarded $5,000 for the project.
 The Pinelands Regional School District in Tuckerton, N.J. received a grant for their "Pinelands Environmental Experience" project, which provides in-service training on methods for integrating existing curricula with environmental issues. The program will provide hands-on experience for students. The Pinelands Regional School District will receive $5000 for their project.
 Cherry Hill Public Schools in Cherry Hill, N.J. will receive $4,135 for "Project Earth." Two high school clubs will establish yearly environmental programs in district elementary schools to address natural resource conservation, pollution prevention and recycling. "Project Earth" will also provide for implementation of an environmental curriculum throughout the district.
 Collier Services in Wickatunk, N.J. received $3,745 dollars for their project "Wetlands, Save or Pave." The project will enable handicapped and at-risk youths to become knowledgeable about environmental issues related to ponds, wetlands and other water systems. Teaching the need for conservation practices will also be an integral part of this program to be conducted at the Kateri Environmental Education Center.
 Information on the 1993 Environmental Education Grants Program will be
available in the Fall of 1992. Those interested in receiving information about the 1993 grants program should write to Teresa Ippolito, Environmental Education Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 Federal Plaza Room 905, New York, N.Y. 10278. For further information on the individual grants awarded in EPA Region 2, please contact Teresa Ippolito at 212-264-2980.
 Background Information
 The Environmental Education Grants Program was established by Section 6 of the National Environmental Education Act. The purpose of the grants program is to stimulate environmental education by supporting projects to design, demonstrate or disseminate practices, methods or techniques related to environmental education or training. Those eligible for this grants program are: tribal or local educational or environmental agencies, colleges, universities, State education or environmental agencies, non-profit organization or non-commercial educational broadcasting entities.
 In fiscal year 1992, appropriations for Environmental Education Grants totalled $2.4 million. The nationwide total of projects funded under section 6 of the NEEA for 1992 is 218.
 Of the funds appropriated, 25 percent were designated for grants of not more than $5000. The statutory ceiling for any one grant is $250,000. The Federal share of the cost of each project could not exceed 75 percent.
 Grant selections were administered at EPA headquarters in Washington for grant applications of more than $25,000. Each of the 10 EPA Regional Offices fulfilled the same requirements for grant applications of $25,000 or less.
 On Dec. 10, 1991, a "Solicitation Notice" was published in the Federal Register and distributed to over 12,000 individuals and organizations. The notice provided details on the eligible applicants and activities as well as EPA's objectives for the grants program. Applications were due at EPA by March 9, 1992. Over 600 applications requesting approximately $65,000,000 for grants of more than $25,000 were submitted to EPA's headquarters. A total of approximately $35,000,000 in requests were received in the EPA regional offices for grants of $25,000 or less. Over $100,000,000 in applications for the environmental education funds were received in total.
 Applications were evaluated by environmental education experts from EPA and from outside the Federal government. EPA used a peer review process to evaluate the proposals at both the national and regional levels.
 -0- 6/30/92
 /CONTACT: Teresa Ippolito of EPA, 212-264-2980/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: New Jersey IN: SU:


SM -- NY058 -- 5183 06/30/92 12:47 EDT
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Date:Jun 30, 1992
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