The Environmental Professionals’ Organization of Connecticut (EPOC) is pleased to announce our environmental grant awards for 2018 as follows (total amount of all awards is $11,200):
- Solar Youth
Solar Youth was founded in 2000 and uses place-based environmental education and exploration as an effective way to not only teach youth about their local natural resources, but as a tool for youth development. EPOC’s grant will be used for the West Rock Neighborhood Stewardship Initiative, that includes the following projects: to expand Solar Youth’s science curriculum to span over multiple seasons with a concentration on the part of the West River watershed in which they live (Lake Wintergreen - Wintergreen Brook - West River - Long Island Sound); to develop curriculum that will enhance engagement of youth in their Citycology (ages 4-8) and Steward Teams (ages 9-13) who reside in West Rock; partner with those who manage New Haven’s green spaces to offer educational programming, including the New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation and the CT DEEP; to ensure youth better understand core ecological concepts and develop a life-long commitment to environmental stewardship; and, to provide youth with critical Developmental Assets, the building blocks of positive youth development.
- Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)/Appalachian Mt. Club – CT
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is dedicated to the preservation and management of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.), and its rich natural and cultural resources. EPOC’s grant will support pollinator habitat restoration efforts along the Housatonic River at Bull’s Bridge in Kent, CT. This is an ecologically sensitive area, inhabited by a diversity of rare, threatened and endangered plant and animal species. The rare plants located at the site benefit from an intact and diverse early successional habitat, while the area in general will also provide resources necessary to support a multitude of other native pollinator species. This work will improve the overall biodiversity, health and resiliency of the site.
- Connecticut River Watershed Council/Connecticut River Conservancy
Established in 1952, the Connecticut River Conservancy is a growing organization that serves the entire four-state Connecticut River watershed is to provide meaningful and engaging opportunities for the public to protect and improve their water resources and make their communities better places to live and work. EPOC’s grant will support opportunities for existing and new volunteers to participate in the surveillance and removal of water chestnut in Connecticut. European Water Chestnut is an invasive aquatic plant found throughout the Connecticut River watershed. If left unchecked, these plants proliferate readily and exponentially. The plants produce dense mats that make recreation and navigation impossible and limit light which negatively affects native fish and plant species.
SoundWaters was founded in 1989 with the mission to protect Long Island Sound through education and action. SoundWaters provides internship opportunities for high school students looking to develop career skills, learn proper field research protocol, and can learn how an environmental educational organization operates. EPOC’s grant will specifically support research gear, including foul weather gear, handheld gps, LIS navigational charts, charting & plotting tools. High School students make significant contributions to Stamford’s Harbor Management Commission’s need for ongoing water quality sampling, collection and analysis, and to NOAA’s Milford Research Laboratory through their research-based data and analysis critical to NOAA’s aquaculture and habitat-related work. Also, they will begin the training and planning needed for the first plankton monitoring program with Connecticut’s Department of Aquaculture Shellfish Sanitation.
The EPOC Grant Program provides non-profit and not-for-profit environmental advocacy groups, community-based groups and environmental education organizations, funding for local projects that benefit the environment on an annual basis. For further information, see our Grant Program page on our website at www.epoc.org/grants.