Friday, January 20, 2012

Water Resources Education Network Now Accepting 2012 Grant Applications

The Water Resources Education Network, a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund, is offering funding to help launch community coalitions that will raise awareness, conduct water education projects, and promote action to protect water resources now and for future generations within Pennsylvania. 
            Proposals are due March 23.
            WREN Projects work to help communities protect and improve our most precious natural resource, our water. To see examples of prior funded projects for creative ideas, visit WREN's Local Projects webpage. No need to re-invent the wheel.
            Two separate funding tracks are offered for 2012:
Track 1:  Watershed Protection Education/ Non-point Source Pollution Prevention Grants. WREN will award 10-12 grants of up to $5,000 each for community-based partnerships to conduct Watershed Protection Education projects that raise awareness and educate Pennsylvania citizens and local officials about their roles as environmental stewards to protect, improve, and remediate the watershed from the impacts of nonpoint source pollution (polluted runoff).
            To encourage awareness of land use impacts on water quality, a municipality is required to be an active partner in the project.
            Nonpoint source pollution includes: drainage or runoff from resource extraction, abandoned coal mines, oil or gas wells;  inadequate erosion control practices during construction, urban runoff;  improper agricultural practices (erosion and sedimentation, nutrient management, pesticide application);  improper timber harvesting practices; improper lake management practices; failing on-lot septic systems or other abandoned waste disposal sites.
            NPS also results from altered hydrology (changing the way water flows through an area) due to impervious surface area and stormwater runoff.
Track 2:  Source Water Protection Education Grants. WREN will award 3 grants of up to $7,000 each to develop a county-wide or regional partnership, known as the Source Water Environmental Education Team (SWEET) that will raise awareness and conduct public education in multiple municipalities for local officials and community members about proper stewardship of source water areas and ways to prevent, manage, and reduce the risk of contamination to public drinking water supply sources. 
            Please be advised that Source Water Protection Education Grant Program award funding is dependent upon availability of funding support to the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund/WREN Project.
            The SWEET Team will raise awareness about valuable public water supply areas, potential sources of contamination in local communities, recommended water protection management measures that will reduce risk of contamination in source water areas, and assist with contingency planning in the county. 
            While many Pennsylvanians get their drinking water from on-site private wells, the majority of consumers rely on public water supply systems.  Over 2,100 community water supply systems in the Commonwealth service more than 10.2 million people.  The goal is to ensure high quality drinking water today and for future generations, and keep water treatment costs down.
            How To Apply
            Proposals are due at the League of Women Voters of PA Harrisburg office, located at: 226 Forster Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102.   Funded project activities must take place July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013. 
            Questions?  Please review grant guidance and application forms and then contact: Julie Kollar, WREN Project Director at 267-468-0555 or send email to:

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