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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Environmental Justice Grant Recipients in the Pacific Southwest - 2010

2010 Grant Recipients

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Yurok Tribe Project
Project name: Yurok Tribe Project: Exiting EPA (disclaimer) The Yurok Tribe's Climate Change Impacts Assessment and Prioritization Project
Project location: Klamath, California

Issue: Climate change. The issue to be addressed is building tribal capacity on climate change in order to understand the technical issues associated with climate change research and modeling and to engage and educate the community and develop partnerships in order to begin adaptation planning.

Summary: Located on the lower part of the Klamath River, in parts of Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, the Yurok Reservation faces significant environmental impacts from climate change including coastal erosion, the rise of sea levels, and increased flooding in the Klamath River watershed. The largest and poorest federally recognized tribe within California, the Yurok Reservation hopes to build tribal government and community capacity via technical training of the program staff and participation in national meetings. The project will engage the reservation community in potential localized changes through the production of educational materials, including a brochure outlining various opportunities to participate in local and regional climate change planning efforts. The final goal of the project is the preparation and completion of the Yurok Tribe Climate Change Prioritization Plan and an initial assessment of potential climate change impacts that will serve as a guide for future tribal climate change research and planning efforts

Project initiation date: July 1, 2010
Partners: USGS, USFWS, USFS, EPA, and NPS, California Department of Water Resources, California Climate Change Taskforce, and CalEPA. Otyer partners include local agencies such as Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, Siskiyou, and Shasta Counties and local environmental groups such as the Klamath Riverkeeper, North Coastal Environmental Network, and other regional tribes
Scott's Valley Band of Pomo Indians
Project name: Scott's Valley Energy Conservation and Efficiency Implementation Project
Project location: Lakeport, California
Issue: Energy efficiency, weatherization, green jobs training

Summary: The Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians is one of six federally recognized Tribes in Lake County, California, comprising the Hinthill Environmental Resource Consortium (HERC). The Scotts Valley Tribe will use an Environmental Justice Small Grant, and Dept of Energy funding, to implement a Weatherization Energy Program to reduce energy consumption in tribal housing and commercial buildings. The Program will include energy evaluations, conservation consultations, and building retrofitting for energy efficiency. In addition to the energy reduction benefits, the Program will increase the Tribe's environmental capacity by providing Tribal members with training for specialized "green" jobs. Energy evaluations and retrofits will be completed by program trainees and graduates, teamed with energy professionals and contractors, providing program participants with the necessary hands-on experience to become licensed California Weatherization Contractors.

Project Initiation Date: October 1, 2010
Partners: DOE, EPA, California EPA
Malama Learning Center
The Malama Learning Center: Hawaii Green Collar Institute (PDF) (4 pp, 300K)
Project name: Green Collar Institute
Project location: Leeward Coast of O'ahu, HI
Issue: Green jobs

Summary: The Malama Learning Center Exiting EPA (disclaimer) is a non-profit organization that brings art, science, conservation and culture together through education to promote sustainable living on the Hawaiian Islands. Malama Learning Center, in partnership with Leeward Community College will create a "Green Collar Institute" to bring awareness to high school and college students of the environmental and climate change issues affecting their communities. The Leeward Coast of O'ahu is home to the largest percentage of native Hawaiians on the Island, many of who are living at or below poverty level and face numerous environmental issues including overflowing landfills, illegal dumping and pollution. The Green Collar Institute will work to reduce the frequency and size of illegal dumps, improve water quality in streams, harbors and oceans, and improve native ecosystems. Students will receive information about related green collar jobs and learn practices in sustainability.

Project initiation date: July 1, 2010
Partners: Leeward Community College
Urban Habitat
Urban Habitat: Community Climate Action Engagement Project (PDF) (3 pp, 300K)
Project name: Community Climate Action Engagement Project
Project location: Richmond, CA
Issue: Climate Change

Summary: Urban Habitat Exiting EPA (disclaimer) will use an Environmental Justice Small Grant to support the Community Climate Action Engagement Project in Richmond, California. The purpose of the project is to 1) increase the Richmond community's ability to engage in the development of an Energy and Climate Action Plan (ECAP); and 2) to engage Richmond's decision makers in addressing the impacts that climate change has on the city's low-income communities and communities of color. The organization will accomplish this by creating and implementing a "Climate Justice Curriculum" that connects climate change to local and regional efforts around transportation justice, affordable housing, equitable development and quality green jobs. It will build public awareness regarding the threats of climate change and the benefits of developing a local ECAP through public alerts and briefing sessions, and work to increase the capacity of Richmond residents and stakeholders to help them participate effectively in planning efforts related to climate change.

Project initiation date: June 1, 2010
Partners: Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Communities for a Better Environment, Contra Costa FaithWorks!, Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization
The Watershed Project
The Watershed Project: Richmond Greenway Bioswale and Native Plant Garden (PDF) (3 pp, 400K)
Project name: Greenway Garden Project
Project location: Richmond, CA
Issue: Urban waters, Climate change

Summary: The Watershed Project, Exiting EPA (disclaimer) a non-profit organization with a 13-year history of working in the Richmond community, will lead the Richmond Greenway Bioswale and Native Plant Garden (Greenway Garden) project, a community based effort to transform a section of abandoned railroad into a transportation, education, and recreation resource for the community. The project will set an example for the City by using low impact biological and cost effective ways of removing storm water pollutants, as well as encourage green approaches to cleaning local storm waters. The Greenway Garden will restore a wildlife habitat in the heart of urban Richmond, educate the surrounding community about local gardening and demonstrate how the native habitat can reduce the need for pesticides in adjacent vegetable and fruit gardens. The project is designed to improve water quality in the Bay by reducing storm water and urban runoff pollution, increasing awareness of Low Impact Design best management practices, and increasing environmental literacy in the Richmond community.

Project initiation date: June 1, 2010
Partners: City of Richmond, Friends of the Richmond Greenway, Urban Tilth, Restoration Design Group
Rose Foundation
Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, New Voices are Rising—Youth Creating Environmentally Just Communities (PDF) (3 pp, 400K)
Project name: New Voices Are Rising
Project location: Oakland, CA
Issue: Environmental Education, Youth

Summary: The Rose Foundation's Exiting EPA (disclaimer) New Voices Are Rising Program is a youth-focused, community-driven environmental justice and civic engagement project that works with students from low-income communities and communities of color in Oakland and Richmond, California. With a $25,000 EJ Small Grant, the Rose Foundation will help students explore the concepts of environmental justice, and allow youth to learn by actively engaging in legislative and regulatory processes. Participating students will attend an intensive summer program focusing on strategies for addressing climate change, as well as a series of classroom presentations on environmental health, environmental civics, and the connections between air pollution environmental health disparities in low-income communities and communities of color in San Francisco's East Bay. They will learn about the federal, state, and local roles in developing laws and regulations that impact climate change, air pollution, and community health, and they will also learn key analytical tools and public speaking skills that will encourage them to participate effectively in public efforts to improve air quality.

Project initiation date: 6/1/2010
Partners: EarthTeam Environmental Network, East bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Global Community Monitor, Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, Pacific Institute, National Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists
Marin Community Clinic (MCC)
Project Name: Marin Commmunity Clinic: Exiting EPA (disclaimer) Viviendo Verde Ya! (Living Green Now)
Project location: San Rafael's Canal District in San Rafael, CA.
Issue: Healthy places for children, climate change.

Summary: The Viviendo Verde Ya! Project will expand the role of promotores (community health workers) in the Canal district by working with Promotores Verdes (a grassroots organization) to mentor a network of volunteer environmental leaders, advocate for environmental change in the community, and develop a community endorsed and scientifically reviewed toolkit designed to meaningfully engage the Latino/Indigenous community in environmental change. The expected results include 1) the adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices and a reduction in pesticide use in the home, 2) strategies to reduce water intrusion and mold growth in the home to improve air quality and reduce asthmagens, and 3) a reduction in the use of toxic substances including pesticides in the workplace. Finally, local government, school, and housing improvements that reduce toxic exposures, improve indoor air quality, and improve community knowledge about local consequences of climate changes.

Project initiation date: June 1, 2010
Partners: Promotores Verdes, Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey's office, First 5 Marin, and the Region 9 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit
Amigos de los Rios
Project name: The Emerald Necklace Project
Project location: San Gabriel Valley, East County Los Angeles, CA
Issue: Air Quality, Water Quality, Climate Change, Sustainable Cities

Summary: Amigos de los Rios, Exiting EPA (disclaimer) a non-profit organization, aims to strengthen community life, preserve the environment and improve healthy living in the underserved areas of the San Gabriel Valley and East County Los Angeles through the Emerald Necklace Project. The project is a direct response to the health and environmental challenges that coincide with the poor air quality and green house gas emissions faced by residents living in the urban core. Emerald Necklace will on focus on creating healthy cities by providing valuable training to the community on issues including air, water quality and greenhouse gas emissions, and creating green infrastructure to address these challenges in a holistic manner.

Project initiation date: July 6, 2010
Partners: Los Angeles County Recreation and Parks Division, School Districts, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, County Flood Control's Watershed Division
Community Services Unlimited, Inc.
Project name: Community Services Unlimited, Inc.: Exiting EPA (disclaimer) From the Ground Up: Promoting Safe and Healthy Urban Agriculture
Project location: Los Angeles, CA (South Central)
Issue: Sustainable Urban Agriculture

Summary: The goal of this project is to teach the youth in South Central Los Angeles about sustainable urban agriculture to promote healthy eating, reduce exposure to toxics, and mitigate and adapt to climate change. Through teaching residents how to grow food naturally, the project will increase community residents' access to healthy produce, while also raising awareness about, and reducing exposure to, lead and pesticide hazards.

Project initiation date: September 1, 2010
Partners: EXPO Center, John Muir Middle School, Normandie Avenue Elementary School, South LA Healthy Eating Active Communities, Tree People, and County of Los Angeles Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Center
Communities for a Better Environment
Project name: Communities for a Better Environment: Exiting EPA (disclaimer) LA Youth Making the Connection: Climate Change, Local Fossil Fuel Impacts, & Alternatives
Project location: South East Los Angeles and Wilmington, CA
Issue: Fossil fuels and Climate change

Summary: The goal of this project is to provide a bridge connecting the existing work of Youth EJ on the direct health impacts of fossil fuel emissions to the broader impacts of fossil fuels causing climate change. CBE will hold new fossil fuel leadership training for youth who are active in the EJ communities of South East LA and Wilmington on the global and local impacts of fossil fuels, work with youth to carry out simple, alternative energy demonstration projects, and continue youth involvement on local fossil fuel policy. The youth leaders will help tremendously by learning the facts about fossil fuels, climate change, and practical solutions, educating their friends and family, and increasing their leadership skills to address these environmental issues.

Project initiation date: October 1, 2010
Partners: Southern Californians for Youth, Youth for Environmental Justice, Youth Justice Coalition, South Central Youth Empowered Through Action/Community Coalition, and other youth organizations

With a two-year, $50,000 EJ Small Grant, APEN funded its Richmond Environmental Justice Community Leadership Project, which is charged with building the leadership and capacity of Richmond's Laotian refugee community, addressing the immediate and long term environmental justice and public health hazards and risks posed by urban development and land use decisions; and to build partnerships of organizations to make their efforts more effective. Through deepened outreach and communications, training, and recruitment, more than a dozen environmental justice leaders groups and other community stakeholders have helped APEN solidify a policy agenda to guide its work with the Laotian community for the next five years. This policy agenda was ratified by APEN's membership in Richmond and Oakland and has been submitted to the City of Richmond's General Plan Advisory Committee for review.


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