SWFWMD Community Education Grants Benefit Charlotte Harbor Study Area
Three projects in Sarasota County and Charlotte County to educate residents about water quality issues and water resources were recently awarded a Community Education Grants from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Twelve grants were awarded Districtwide this year for a total of $50,319. This is the 15th year Community Education Grants have been available. These grants currently help fund projects that provide communities an opportunity to learn about water resources.
The overall goal of the Community Education Grant program is to actively engage adults in water-related issues including conservation, protection and preservation. The program motivates communities to get involved in protecting their water resources through various educational activities.
The Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Inc. received a $5,000 grant to offer 20 guided pontoon boat trips to educate residents in the Charlotte Harbor watershed region. They will learn about aquatic habitats, stormwater best management practices and the important relationship between our land and a healthy water body.
The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast received a $4,995 grant to install a sign at Bay Preserve at Osprey and host a workshop where approximately 50 participants will learn about how a bioretention swale conveys, treats, detains and filters runoff. Nearly 85,000 people will be reached through advertising.
The City of North Port received a $4,136 grant to host a workshop, a Great American cleanup and an aquatic planting at the North Port Library pond. About 120 participants will learn about drinking water supply sources, watershed protection, human impacts to the stormwater system and how to improve water quality. About 19,000 people are expected to be reached through advertisements and six educational signs.
Participants will be tested before and after the trips to determine what they learned. They will also participate in follow-up surveys and report if they modified any behaviors based on the boat trip experiences. About 260 people are expected to take the boat trips.
Applications for the District’s 2013 Community Education Grant program will be available online at WaterMatters.org/CommunityGrants on April 1, 2012. For more information, please call the District’s Communications Bureau at 1-800-423-1476 or (352) 796-7211, ext. 4757.
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