Service-learning grants available from DEP

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is offering schools grants of up to $1,000 each in support of service-learning projects that result in protections for local streams, lakes and rivers.

The Watershed Protection Grant program is inviting applications from teachers of students in grades 4 through 12.

Applicants must propose an activity that results in the restoration or protection of a local freshwater resource. The projects must address lake or stream watersheds; the grant program cannot fund purely coastal projects. Projects should prevent soil erosion, reduce polluted storm water, or — in the case of streams only — moderate temperature.

The Maine DEP will give preference to applications that involve community members and leverage in-kind contributions of plants and other materials. DEP staff will assist with project planning and implementation and related educational activities.

The students who participate will be charged with educating the public about the knowledge they gain through their watershed protection projects through submitting articles for publication in local newspapers, hosting public education events, conducting workshops to teach other students and community members, and presenting their work to local organizations and government bodies.

Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 1, 2011.

Grant applications and more information — including examples of past successful projects — are available on the Maine DEP website, at: http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/docgrant/watershed/index.htm.

Contact Denise Blanchette with questions at Denise.L.Blanchette@maine.gov.