OCEAN CITY — The Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) last week was awarded a grant totaling $173,400 from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue and enhance student initiatives on the Eastern Shore including those that encourage more minority participation.
EPA officials announced the $173,400 grant last week at the conclusion of the “Get Out-Get Green-Get Paid” Youth Summit held in Ocean City. The funding will be used to support the MCBP’s educational, research and career-related activities including green infrastructure, marine science, environmental literacy, climate change, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs, internships and environmental stewardship.
Through these programs, the MCBP involves all local youth including minorities. The announcement brings the EPA’s total funding commitment to over $617,000 for education and diversity initiatives. The beneficiaries of the federal grant will include youth from the Coastal Stewards Program and the Upward Bound program, along with students from UMES, interested in pursuing careers in “green” fields.
“This initiative creates new opportunities for students to pursue environmental careers that make the world a better place to live,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin. “These programs not only expand the conversation on environmentalism, they empower young people to achieve their dreams.”
The MCBP’s education and diversity-related initiatives are enhanced through partnerships with the EPA, the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, UMES, Assateague State Park and Assateague National Seashore. The objectives of the program include increasing minority participation in environmental science and related fields, restoring the area’s coastal bays, promoting stewardship at all educational levels, increasing environmental literacy, performing sound research and fulfilling the goals of the MCBP.
The EPA’s funding announcement came at the close of the Get Out-Get Green-Get Paid Youth Summit in Ocean City last week. Over 150 youth ages 14-25 participated in the summit, which stressed the importance of getting outside, taking steps to be more green and learning about green jobs.