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Aquarium Receives $50,000 EPA Grant as Part of $215,000 Awarded to Efforts Aimed at Stopping Plastics From Polluting the Ocean
SAN FRANCISCO (October 10, 2012) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today awarded nearly $215,000 in grants to the Product Stewardship Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium to reduce sources of marine debris in partnership with local governments and businesses.
The Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) will attempt to eliminate plastics at three California coastal universities by reducing disposable packaging from campus fast-food restaurants. The Monterey Bay Aquarium will receive $50,000 to train 100 teachers to teach 7,500 students to lead 40 local community action projects aimed at reducing sources of ocean plastics.
“When plastics enter our waterways, they harm fish and wildlife, and diminish recreational opportunities; eventually they disintegrate and become part of the food chain,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Reducing plastic waste at the source is key to protecting our rivers, oceans, and estuaries.”
PSI will attempt a 40% reduction in single-use plastic water bottles and an 80% reduction in polystyrene take-out containers at dining facilities and student centers at University of California campuses in Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. From this study, PSI will develop a model that can be adopted by other universities and fast-food corporations.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium will train 100 K-12 teachers to teach 7,500 students to understand the cause and effect of plastics in the ocean, and explore actions to help address the threat posed by marine debris. In turn, students will lead 40 local community action projects within coastal watersheds. Results from this project will be disseminated to 300 teachers at an annual teacher open house, and to thousands of additional California educators through a variety of communications channels used by the nonprofit aquarium.
Details about the EPA’s marine debris program can be found at www.epa.gov/region9/marine-debris/.
The mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans.
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