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March 14, 2012

Projects expected to inform up to 450,000 people in Hillsborough County about water conservation and water quality issues were recently awarded Community Education Grants from the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

This year the District awarded 12 grants Districtwide for a total of $50,319. This is the 15th year Community Education Grants have been available. These grants currently help fund projects that provide communities an opportunity to learn about water resources.

The overall goal of the Community Education Grant program is to actively engage adults in water-related issues including conservation, protection and preservation. The program motivates communities to get involved in protecting their water resources through various educational activities.

The Florida Section of the American Water Works Association received a $5,000 grant to create and distribute 300 soil-test kits. The kits will be given to Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful cleanup volunteers. The goal is to improve understanding about the connection between fertilizer use and water quality.

The Camp Bayou Learning Center received a $4,595 grant to host an open house event at Camp Bayou in Ruskin to increase awareness about water resources and issues impacting water quality. About 300 people are expected to attend the event and up to 400,000 are expected to be reached through advertisements leading up to the event.

The Hoffman Environmental Research Institute and Karst Conservancy received a $4,946 grant to create an interactive website that will provide information on groundwater issues and karst geology. The site also will feature a forum for community discussions and a calendar of water-related events. About 50,000 people are expected to be reached through direct-mail advertising for the site.

Applications for the District’s 2013 Community Education Grant program will be available online at on April 1, 2012. For more information, please call the District’s Communications Bureau at 1-800-423-1476 or (352) 796-7211, ext. 4757.

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