Mini-Grants help local non-profits educate public on importance of source water protection
Tampa Bay Water supports community outreach in several ways, including awarding mini-grants to non-profit groups, schools, teachers and community groups to help further education and public understanding of the importance of protecting our drinking water supply.
For 2019, Tampa Bay Water awarded grants to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, Walter Sickles High School and the Pasco Education Foundation on behalf of Wendell Krinn Technical High School. The 2019 grant recipients made significant differences in the region’s efforts to protect the environment:
- Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful engaged nearly 20,000 volunteers for more than 50,000 hours of community services; its educational programs reached nearly 40,000 youth and adults, and it removed more than 350,000 pounds of litter and 25,000 pounds of invasive plants from Tampa Bay.
- Keep Pinellas Beautiful continued its K-12 educational curriculum on watershed health, water quality, and source water health, engaging 20,000 volunteers in more than 1,000 community projects, resulting in removing nearly 500,000 pounds of litter, more than 13,000 pounds of uncontaminated recyclables and more than 200,000 pounds of invasive vegetation, saving taxpayers the equivalent of over $1 million in community services.
- Pasco Education Foundation created Wendell Krinn Technical High School’s aquaponics farming system, which uses approximately 90 percent less water than traditional farming and eliminates agricultural runoff.
- Sickles High School relocated and expanded the school’s hydroponic garden which reaches more than 600 students each year. The garden prevents agricultural runoff while using about 10 gallons of water a day, which is half what would normally be used in a dirt garden of the same size, while growing 10 times the number of plants.
With so many great results from 2019, Tampa Bay Water is excited to see what next year’s grant recipients will accomplish! Tampa Bay Water is pleased to award its 2020 Source Water Protection Mini-Grants to:
- Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful ($10,000), to support education initiatives and presentations to school groups and community groups through its Environmental Education Program. The program teaches students the importance of putting waste in its place and how their actions can directly affect the Tampa Bay watershed.
- Keep Pinellas Beautiful ($10,000), to increase its K-12 educational curriculum on watershed health, water quality, source water health and habitat improvement. It also will expand its Annual Student Summer Workshops to include watershed stewardship education across Pinellas County and grow its Youth Advisory Council.
- Pinellas County Schools’ Journeys in Journalism program ($3,500), to increase media literacy and develop a community and civic engagement campaign to promote the value of a clean and safe water system in our community.
- Coffeepot Bayou Watershed Alliance ($2,000). for quarterly volunteer cleanup events in and around the bayou located in St. Petersburg. It includes trash and invasive plant removal., horticulture services to support new native plants, monthly water sampling and bird surveys. The Alliance will involve public and private schools, and Boy Scout Troop 219, in cleanup events, invasive plant removal and water sampling.