Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that up to $3 million in funding for locally-focused environmental education grants is now available under the 2021 Environmental Education (EE) Local Grant Program. EPA will award grants in each of EPA’s 10 Regions, for no less than $50,000 and no more than $100,000 each, for a total of 30-40 grants nationwide. Applications are due Dec. 6, 2021 and the Request for Application (RFA) notice is now posted on Grants.gov and on EPA’s website.
The 2021 EE Local Grant Program includes support for projects that reflect the intersection of environmental issues with climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, preventing future water quality and human health issues, in addition to other environmental topics. Funded projects will increase public awareness of those topics and help participants to develop the skills needed to make informed decisions. An RFA containing regional details will be issued by each of the 10 EPA Regions. Applicants should choose the RFA that is for the location of the project.
Through this grant program, EPA intends to provide financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, that will serve to increase environmental literacy and encourage behavior that will benefit the environment in local communities, especially in underserved communities. EPA recognizes underserved communities as people or communities of color, Tribal and Indigenous populations that may be disproportionately impacted by environmental harms and risks, high-poverty areas, persistent poverty counties, and Title 1 schools for this grant program.
Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 and $3.5 million in grant funding per year under this program, supporting more than 3,800 grants and making the grant program one of the most utilized in the agency.
The full list of solicitation notices are available at Grants.gov and on EPA’s website. The Office of Environmental Education will also host two webinars in the coming weeks on how to write a competitive application and to address commonly asked questions. Background information on the EE Grants Program and resources for applicants is available here.
The climate crisis is fundamentally a human rights crisis. Changes in climate will have different effects on different groups of people according to existing vulnerabilities. The socioeconomic impacts of global heating will be nonlinear and are likely to have knock-on effects as physical hazards reach tipping points beyond which physiological, human-made, and ecological systems break down. The climate crisis will therefore not only act upon global inequalities – it will also exacerbate them, creating a vicious cycle where low-income and marginalized communities will be rendered increasingly vulnerable by global heating.
In the US, vulnerability to global heating intersects with a matrix of systemic injustices: income inequality, racism, immigration status, gender, rural underdevelopment, and a history of genocide of Native peoples. Studies have found that people of color across all regions and income levels in the US are systemically exposed to disproportionately higher levels of ambient air pollution. Domestic climate action to urgently reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of global heating must also address these issues of justice, or they will fail to protect the American communities on the frontline of the climate crisis.
A new study suggests that microparticle concentrations in lakes are higher than previously reported, and that human activity and surrounding land use may be a strong predictor of microplastics and anthropogenic fiber pollution.
In agriculture, large quantities of nano- and microplastics end up in the soil through compost, sewage sludge and the use of mulching foils. The plastic particles always carry various pollutants with them. However, they do not transport them into the groundwater, as is often assumed. Environmental geoscientists led by Thilo Hofmann have now determined that the plastic particles release the pollutants in the upper soil layers: they do not generally contaminate the groundwater, but have a negative effect on soil microbes and crops. The study by the University of Vienna appears in Nature Communications Earth & Environment.
China will boost its plastic recycling and incineration capabilities, promote “green” plastic products and take action against the overuse of plastic in packaging and agriculture, it said in a 2021-2025 “five-year plan” published on Wednesday.
The European Commission will spend more on international climate and biodiversity finance, promote ‘green hydrogen’ investment in Africa, and propose an array of new legislative files tackling environmental problems. Here’s what you need to know.