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GASP Awarded Grant to Help Educate Middle School Students About Air Quality & Climate Change

The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) was recently awarded a $17,497 grant through the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop and distribute climate change and air quality education tool kits for middle school students.

“It’s crucial that our children, who are the next generation of decision-makers, understand the importance of clean air. One thing we’ve learned is it’s difficult to expect community members to care about – and advocate for – improved air quality if they don’t know how air pollution can negatively impact their health and quality of life,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said. “This grant will allow us to help more kids make the connection between air pollution, adverse health effects, and environmental impacts, and what they can do to make a difference.”

GASP’s was one of 55 projects funded through Environmental Education Grants that will engage youth and adults in environmental justice, climate change, and/or water quality improvement, expanding their understanding of these issues in Pennsylvania and providing skills to take responsible action to protect their environment.

“This impressive list of funded projects speaks to the innovation and dedication of Pennsylvania’s environmental educators and their significant reach in helping to develop environmental stewards among Pennsylvanians of all ages and backgrounds,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We’re especially excited that not only is every region of the state represented, but 77 percent of the grant funding supports 33 projects that will engage Pennsylvanians who live or work in EJ areas, as DEP continues to strengthen its outreach and partnership with EJ communities.”

Grants were awarded to schools and colleges, environmental and community organizations, and conservation district offices who applied in 2019 and met project criteria for funding. 

The Environmental Education Grants Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside five percent of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. Since 1993 DEP has awarded 2,020 Environmental Education Grants totaling more than $11 million. 

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