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February 21, 2007

Two Citrus County projects were awarded Community Education grants from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The grants, which are up to $5,000 each, will help fund projects that provide communities the opportunity to learn about water resources.

This year the District awarded 49 grants Districtwide for a total of $171,444. This is the 10th year Community Education Grants have been available.

The overall goal of the Community Education Grant Program is to actively engage adults in water-related issues pertaining to conservation, protection and preservation. Funded by the District’s Basin Boards, the program is intended to motivate communities to get involved in water protection through various activities and educational formats.

The following project is funded by the District’s Coastal Rivers Basin Board, which includes portions of Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus counties.

The Save the Homosassa River Alliance will receive $5,000 to teach residents about how they can protect the Homosassa River watershed. The group will team with the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park to educate residents on the Homosassa River watershed. Participants will attend a watershed presentation, tour the springs and learn how to test water quality. Group meetings and water quality tests results will be published in the St. Petersburg Times and the Citrus County Chronicle. The project has the potential to reach 13,000 residents.

The following project is funded by the District’s Coastal Rivers Basin Board and Withlacoochee River Basin Board which includes portions of Pasco, Sumter, Hernando, Citrus, Marion, and Levy counties.

The Citrus County Extension will receive $5,000 for a newspaper insert titled “Florida-Friendly Living in Citrus County” for newcomers and natives. This eight-page newspaper insert will be created and distributed for the spring gardening season. It will include information about efficient watering, appropriate fertilization and pest management, recycling, and protecting the waterfront. The goal is to encourage proactive stewardship practices to protect Citrus County water resources. The project will potentially reach 29,300 people.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s 2008 Community Education Grant Program will begin its application process in June if funding is approved by the Basin Boards. To be added to the mailing list to receive the 2008 application, call the District’s Communications Department at 1-800-423-1476 or (352) 796-7211, ext. 4757.

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