DEP awards grants to help improve the environment

Harrisburg. Many of the funded projects are designed to engage youth and adults in improving water quality and climate change resiliency in their communities.

| 07 Jun 2023 | 03:18

    On June 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded over $1 million in Environmental Education Grants to 73 projects that will engage youth and adults in improving water quality and climate change resiliency in their communities. Fifty-five projects will serve environmental justice communities.

    Schools and colleges, environmental and community organizations, and county conservation districts received funding for a broad range of educational hands-on programs for students, training and community projects for adults, and teacher training workshops.

    “The Shapiro Administration is committed to delivering practical solutions to the environmental and safety issues our communities face from climate change and water pollution,” said DEP Acting Secretary Rich Negrin. “Pennsylvania’s environmental educators help provide these solutions. Through impactful work in the field, classroom, and neighborhood, they engage Pennsylvanians of all ages and backgrounds in projects that can have immediate local impacts and spark lasting environmental stewardship.”

    The DEP Environmental Education Grant program prioritizes projects that engage youth or adults who live, work, or attend school in environmental justice areas. Funding focuses primarily on educating participants to develop and carry out practical solutions that help communities become more climate change resilient or reduce pollution to improve local water quality.

    “Fully 83 percent of this grant funding supports educational projects that will benefit environmental justice communities,” Negrin said, “as we continue to expand our work to help Pennsylvanians most at risk from pollution, climate change related hazards, and other environmental impacts.”

    Two nearby projects are included in the funding stream. The Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation was granted $4,961 to provide in-classroom programs and hands-on, standards-based field experiences addressing climate change and water for fourth and fifth grade students in elementary schools that serve environmental justice areas. The Lackawanna County Conservation District was awarded $30,000 to create a permanent three-station stormwater best management practice demonstration area and hold three hands-on events for multiple audiences on stormwater and local water quality.

    Find the complete list of projects funded by region at

    The Environmental Education Grants Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5 % of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. DEP has awarded $13.3 million in Environmental Education Grant funding to support 2,199 projects to date.