FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEARWATER, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2019) — Tampa Bay Water awarded nearly $30,000 in source water protection mini-grants to local organizations at its February board meeting to help Tampa Bay area non-profits, schools and community groups protect the aquifer, rivers and bay that the region uses for its drinking water. Receiving the mini-grants for 2019 are Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, the Pasco Education Foundation and Anthony Leotta, a teacher at Sickles High School.
“For 10 years now, Tampa Bay Water has been offering grants that support organizations and groups that help people in the Tampa Bay area get involved in protecting the sources of their drinking water,” said General Manager Matt Jordan. “As the regional wholesale drinking water utility, we remain committed to meeting the drinking water needs of our growing region in an environmentally sustainable fashion.”
This year, Tampa Bay Water received six mini-grant applications and was able to fully fund four of the applications. They include:
Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful will receive $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 will receive $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.
Pasco Education Foundation will receive $5,000 to help launch Wendell Krinn Technical High School’s aquaponics farming system. Named in honor of Ridgewood High School’s first principal, the school provides students the opportunity to graduate high school while earning a technical certification. The project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of students to build, operate and maintain a system that uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming and will eliminate agricultural runoff.
Mr. Anthony Leotta, a teacher at Sickles High School, will receive $2,000 to relocate and expand the school’s hydroponics garden to make it more accessible as a teaching tool and increase its yield while reducing water consumption. The new hydroponic system will allow the students to learn to grow food more efficiently, using approximately half the amount of water to grow eight times the number of plants that a traditional garden would yield without any agricultural runoff.
Since 2008, Tampa Bay Water has invested approximately $200,000 in its mini-grant program to help community-based efforts that protect the region’s drinking water resources. For more information and to apply for future grant funding, visit tampabaywater.org/grant.
About Tampa Bay Water
Tampa Bay Water is the largest wholesale water supplier in Florida, providing high-quality drinking water to its members, who in turn, supply water to more than 2.5 million residents of the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay Water member governments include the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa, and the counties of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas. To learn more, visit tampabaywater.org