(Boston, Mass.—January 10, 2012) EPA’s New England office is awarding 13 grants across New England under its 2011 Healthy Communities Grant Program, totaling approximately $372,000, to support community projects addressing environmental and public health issues. The projects funded through this program will result in reduced environmental risk, protection and improvement of human health, and improvements to the quality of life for communities across New England.
The Healthy Communities Grant Program combines resources from nine EPA programs to strategically address environmental and public health issues burdening New England communities. The goal of the program is to competitively select projects that will achieve measurable environmental and public health results in communities across New England.
Eligible projects must meet several criteria including: (1) location in /or directly benefit one or more of the EPA’s identified Target Investment Areas; and (2) identification of how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental and/or public health results in one or more of the EPA’s identified Target Program Areas. Target Investment Areas and Target Program Areas are identified in the annual Request for Initial Proposal.
In 2011, the Target Investment Areas included Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern, Narragansett Bay Watershed, areas with Sensitive Populations, and/or Urban Areas. Target Program Areas included: Asthma, Capacity-Building for Environmental and Public Health Issues, Healthy Indoor/Outdoor Environments, Healthy Schools, Narragansett Bay Watershed-Based Water Quality Management, and Urban Natural Resources.
The grants were awarded to the following recipients:
Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust was awarded $25,000 for their “Bridgeport East Side Healthy Homes Initiative” project. The project will conduct a targeted neighborhood approach to addressing environmentally related illnesses including: inhalant allergens that contribute to asthma triggers; and lead contamination that poisons young children.
Town of Stratford, CT was awarded $25,000 for their “Reducing Exposure to Residual Nicotine among Children” project. The project will develop and implement a community marketing/outreach strategy about Third Hand Smoke and Residual Nicotine Exposure (THS/RNE) to be incorporated into existing asthma programs.
Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point was awarded $25,000 for their “Algae to Diesel Fuel Production in Backyard Bio-Reactors for Home” project. The project will build on an existing pilot project for producing home heating oil from algae grown in backyard reactors in order to reduce carbon and sulfur emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. This will ultimately improve ambient air quality and and have positive impact on Tribal health.
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health was awarded $24,999 for their “Healthy Learning Environments for Asthma Prevention” project. The project will achieve measurable reductions in environmental triggers; improve asthma management, and build capacity to address environmental inequities in struggling schools.
Ecumenical Social Action Committee was awarded $25,000 for their “Boston Asthma Initiative” project. The project will provide a holistic integrated clinical and environmental approach to managing asthma for children in the City of Boston.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection was awarded $39,235 for their “MA/RI Municipal Management Stormwater Assistance Initiative” project. The project will improve the water quality of Narragansett Bay and its tributary rivers by improving the effectiveness of municipal stormwater management.
Health Resources in Action was awarded $35,000 for their “Promoting Purchaser Demand” project. The project will reduce health disparities, and promote environmental justice, health and safety of low-income and minority populations in New England by increasing the demand for Asthma Services which will result in increased financing/and reimbursement by medical insurance companies.
New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health was awarded $25,000 for their “Healthy Schools, Children, Minds” project. The project will expand the Tools for Schools program statewide in order to increase a) school building maintenance assessment, b) reporting to the Department of Education, and c) school building environmental improvements.
Manchester Health Department was awarded $24,999 for their “Asthma Education & Outreach Program” project. The project will advance the Department’s existing comprehensive pediatric asthma education and outreach program through the official adoption and integration of a holistic healthy homes approach to environmental diseases.
Childhood Lead Action Project (CLAP) was awarded $25,000 for their “Up to Code Providence” project. The project will expand CLAP’s Get the Lead Out Coalition to expand their work on childhood lead poisoning to include childhood asthma in order to protect children from severe health outcomes resulting from mold, pests, lead hazards, or unsafe renovation practices.
Save the Bay was awarded $34,556 for their “Flood Hazard Reduction and Water Quality Improvement in the Upper Narragansett and Mount Hope Bay Watersheds” project. The project will assess coastal adaptation techniques and include activities to provide at risk towns with planning tools for adapting to predicated climate changes.
Rhode Island Natural History Survey was awarded $39,209 for their “Expanding Watershed Counts” project. The project will develop consensus-based freshwater quality indicators for the rivers and streams in the Narragansett Bay watershed.
Parks Place Community Resource Center was awarded $25,000 for their “Contractor and Landlord Educational Outreach” project. The project will reduce childhood exposure to lead contaminated dust during renovation and repairs.