'Citizen scientists' invited to learn more about water, air pollution under EPA grant program

The U.S. EPA is encouraging individuals and community groups in two regions -- New York City and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- to apply for grants that will allow "citizen scientists" to compile information on and seek solutions to air and water quality problems...

Mar. 5 -- The U.S. EPA is encouraging individuals and community groups in two regions -- New York City and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- to apply for grants that will allow "citizen scientists" to collect information on air and water pollution in their communities and seek solutions to environmental and public health problems.

Citizen science is a form of research that enlists the public in collecting a wide range of environmental data and is considered a developing tool for expanding scientific knowledge and literacy.

In New York City, the EPA will award a total of $125,000 for five to ten projects related to air or water pollution.

In the Virgin Islands, EPA will award a total of $25,000 for one project related to air or water pollution.

"Community residents and organizations can provide invaluable insight into pollution problems in their communities and the best ways to reduce air and water pollution," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. "By providing citizen scientists with the funding needed to advance their knowledge about local air and water pollution, the EPA is expanding its own scientific base and building collaborations with communities that will lead to effective and innovative solutions."

Projects receiving funding through the citizen science grants will be expected to promote a comprehensive understanding of local pollution problems and identify and support activities that address them at the local level. Proposed projects must also consider environmental justice and should engage, educate and empower communities.

All applications are due no later than April 20, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Additional information on the grants, including guidance on eligibility and procedures for applying, is available at http://www.epa.gov/region2/grants/ or through http://www.grants.gov.

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