NEW: EPA Awards Rhode Island $317,000
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing a total of $317,000 to three Rhode Island organizations. One grant, to Groundwork Providence (GP), will provide job training for environmental work, and the other two grants, to the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island (EJLRI) and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program/Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association (NBEP/WPWA), will hep address urban water quality issues.
EPA awarded GP a $200,000 Brownfield job training grant to help the organization train 54 students and place at least 45 graduates in environmental jobs. GP will track graduates for at least one year to assist students’ transition to the workforce. “EPA’s Brownfield Job Training grants can be a real catalyst helping to change peoples’ lives for the better,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Investing to provide people with the skills to earn a good living are also helping to protect the health of the local community by targeting historically disadvantaged neighborhoods where environmental cleanups and jobs are often most needed,” Spalding said.
EJLRI received $60,000 from the EPA to help support educational and training initiatives aimed towards restoring water quality in Mashapaug Pond, the last remaining natural pond in Providence. "The project this grant will fund is less of a "project" and much more a continuation of years of foundational work we have done in the Reservoir Triangle neighborhood, along with our partners, to reclaim Mashapaug Pond and create a vibrant, safe, and restored natural area for Providence residents,” said Amelia Rose, Director of EJLRI.
NBEP/WPWA received an Urban Water Quality Improvement grant of $57,000 to develop an “Urban Waters Fish Community Monitoring Program" for the Moshasshuck River, Woonasquatucket River and the Blackstone River. The project will collect and assess data, as well as engage the urban community with restoration efforts. "We will use the data we collect to identify restoration actions that can be taken to improve water quality and restore urban fish communities,” said Meg Kerr, Watershed Program Manager of NBEP.
These latter two grants are part of $2.7 million EPA awarded nationally to 46 organizations in 32 states and Puerto Rico to help restore urban waters. “We are very proud to provide funding to help these groups address urban water quality issues in Rhode Island,” said Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “These funds will help restore urban waters and support community revitalization on and near these rivers.”
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