Consortium awarded federal environmental agency grant
PHILADELPHIA – (July 27, 2012) – The Maryland Coastal Bays Program received $173,400 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today to underwrite training and instruction that exposes high school and college students from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to best ecological practices and career options in the field.
The grant will ongoing educational, research and career-related activities focusing on marine and science programs, internships, environmental stewardship and utilizing green infrastructure such as wind turbines, rain collection systems and nurturing natural shorelines.
EPA’s funding now tops $600,000 for this ongoing initiative, which includes University of Maryland Eastern Shore students involved in the Coastal Stewards program as well as high-school age participants in Upward Bound.
“Many of our Coastal Stewards are UMES students and work with us in paid positions,” according to Carrie Samis, education coordinator for the Coastal Bays Program.
UMES and the Coastal Bays Program signed an agreement in 2006 to work jointly on educational activities known collectively as Linking Environmental and Academic Programs.
Shawn M. Garvin, an EPA Regional Administrator, presented a check to the Coastal Bays Program during the first day of its “Get Out, Get Green, Get Paid” youth summit in Ocean City, Md.
“This initiative creates new opportunities for students to pursue environmental careers that make the world a better place,” Garvin said. “These programs not only expand the conversation on environmentalism, they empower young people to achieve their dreams.”
The federal agency is a partner with UMES, Maryland’s Department of the Environment and Department of Natural Resources, and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
“Several of the students who have been involved in our programs have secured jobs with the National Park Service, Maryland State Parks and job corps programs after working with us,” Samis said.
The program’s objectives are:
- Increasing minority participation in environmental science and related fields;
- Restoring Maryland’s Coastal Bays;
- Promoting an environmental stewardship ethic at all educational levels;
- Performing sound research; and
- Fulfilling goals of the Coastal Bays’ Program.
The summit attracted young people ranging in age from 14-to-25, including students from UMES, Upward Bound, Coastal Stewards, Youth Conservation Corps, Maryland Conservation Job Corps and other organizations.
The event exposes participants to the importance of getting outside and taking steps to reduce pollution and energy use as well as career opportunities for “green” jobs.
Participants heard from visionaries who brought change to their communities, their workplace, their lives and beyond by pursuing an interest in finding ways to protect and preserve the environment.
Information courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.