Addresses Problems In High-Risk Areas
The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded 24 Environmental Justice Community Impact Grants to organizations across the state that serve communities facing environmental harm and risk, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced.
“The Department of Environmental Conservation will be providing much-needed funding to two dozen outstanding organizations and projects throughout New York that will provide benefits to environmental justice communities far beyond the value of the grants,” said Martens.
The Environmental Justice Grants Program, created with input from the DEC Environmental Justice Advisory Group, helps communities understand and mitigate environmental harms or risks to improve quality of life.
The funding comes from the Environmental Justice Community Impact Research Grant (EJ Grant) program. Launched in 2006, the program helps local organizations with projects to address environmental or public health concerns. The program concentrates on communities that historically have been overburdened by such problems as a high density of industrial emissions, a concentration of contaminated sites; disproportionate noise, air and water pollution; environmental health problems and lack of green space and waterfront access.
Interest in the Environmental Justice Community Impact Grant program has grown dramatically. This year, 123 groups from around the state applied for funding. Detailed reviews by DEC staff resulted in 24 grant awards totaling $1 million. Individual awards range from $5,180 to $50,000.
A wide variety of projects will be supported this year, including community gardens and green infrastructure, air and water quality monitoring, waste recycling in public housing, lead poisoning preven- tion, building deconstruction and recycling of an urban aquaponics facility and environmental education for urban and Native American youth.
Among the $441,970 in grants allocated to groups in the New York City area are a $39,848 award to the Newtown Creek Alliance for the project titled “Aircasting”; a $50,000 grant to the Eastern Queens Alliance for their community advocacy project; and $44,995 to the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation for a “Healthy Green Environment Initiative.”
For a complete list of project descriptions, visit www.dec.ny.gov.