DEM Awards $16,850 in Grants for Community-Based Earth Day Cleanup Projects

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management, in partnership with the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, has awarded 38 grants totaling $16,850 to organizers of local Earth Day 2014 cleanup projects. This grant program is designed to highlight Earth Day 2014 and the value of the environment, and recognize the importance of people improving the quality of life in their communities.

Grants of $250 or $500 each are being provided to non-profit organizations and municipalities throughout the state for Earth Day-related activities that are connected to a volunteer community cleanup initiative. The funds may be used for cleanup supplies including gloves and paper bags and eligible expenses such as hauling fees, and for local Earth Day celebrations and outreach activities that educate residents about environmental issues and attract volunteers to help cleanup.

«Communities all across Rhode Island – from Westerly to Warren to Woonsocket – will reap the benefits of cleaner and more attractive neighborhoods, thanks to these Earth Day grants,» said DEM Director Janet Coit.

All Earth Day cleanup projects that receive funding through this grant program will be completed between April 1 and May 17. Funding for these grants is a result of a community service payment made by Southern Union pursuant to a court order dated November 12, 2013 as a penalty for a mercury spill at the Tidewater site in Pawtucket in 2004.

Since its start in 1970, Earth Day has served as a yearly catalyst for ongoing environmental education, action and change. Activities surrounding Earth Day rekindle personal commitment and broaden the base of public involvement through active participation in a wide variety of events. «Earth Day reminds us to take care of the lands and the waters that sustain us,» Director Coit added. «That responsibility requires action every day of the year.»

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