$600,000 Awarded to Community Groups for Environmental Projects on Leeward Coast

Lt. Governor Brian Schatz announced the awarding of Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) grants to eleven community organizations who will undertake environmental projects benefitting the Leeward Coast.

Honolulu – The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) and the Department of Health (DOH) has awarded $600,000 in Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) grants to eleven community organizations to undertake various environmental projects on Oahu’s Leeward Coast.  The Hawaii Fair Share Initiative, a program launched and administered through the Lt. Governor’s office, coordinated with state agencies and non-profit organizations, helping to enable the grant monies to be released and the projects to move forward.

“These are great organizations doing good work in the community, and we should support projects like these,” stated Lt. Governor Brian Schatz.  “I’m proud of the work of DBEDT and DOH, and I’m glad we could play a part in making these awards happen.”

Funding for the SEP grants program is part of a settlement agreement between the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Waste Management of Hawaii, Inc. and the City & County of Honolulu over issues concerning the Waimanalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill.  DBEDT’s Community-Based Economic Development (CBED) program administered the SEP grants program and selected the awardees.

“We are pleased to be able to support these projects,” said DBEDT Director Richard Lim.  “They were selected because they will have a positive environmental impact on Leeward communities, and help further the goal of protecting and enhancing the public health and the environment, as well as educating children, families and the community about important environmental issues.”

The following organizations will receive SEP grants:

Alternative Structures International; $60,000 for the installation of solar photovoltaic panel systems and energy saving upgrades at two transitional homeless shelters with 120 family units.

Blue Planet Foundation; $42,000 for a CFL exchange program on the Leeward Coast, distributing 50,000 CFL bulbs to schools and community organizations.

Ka‘ala Farm, Inc.; $23,000 to erect a hog-wire fence around the Nanakuli Valley Cultural & Botanical Preserve to mitigate damage to archeological sites and the killing of new native plantings by feral pigs.

Kupu/Hawaii Youth Conservation Corp; $77,000 to help restore the Waianae Mountain Watershed and create service-learning opportunities for Leeward Coast youths to earn college credits through UH Manoa’s Natural Resource and Environmental Management Department or Windward Community College.

Nani O Waianae; $73,000 to organize community watch groups to regularly patrol “hot spots” in Waianae where illegal dumping occurs and to report these incidents to the proper authorities.

Hawaii Nature Center; $40,000 to provide experiential learning about Hawaii’s unique island environment for Leeward Coast students grades K-6.

Malama Learning Center; $69,000 to support two pilot programs under the “Hawaii Green Collar Institute” which will mentor approximately 30 Leeward Coast students, introduce them to more than 10 “green” career paths, provide volunteer opportunities and create partnerships with local landowners and managers.

Nanakuli Elementary School Parent Teacher Association; $90,000 to paint 5 portable classrooms and the cafeteria with cool white roof paint to reduce the heat in these buildings and use the project as a lesson-in-action at the school.

Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; $20,000 to help construct the organization’s spay and neuter clinic for residents of the Leeward Coast.

Papahana Kuaola; $37,000 to provide 4th & 5th grade teachers and students from Nanakuli schools with conservation education from a scientific and Hawaiian cultural and historic perspective, emphasizing the ethic of sustainability and the values of malama aina (caring for the land), lokahi (working together), olu olu (collaboration) and aloha.

SeaHawaii Foundation; $69,000 to produce, in conjunction with Searider Productions, 3-4 minute video segments and a website to document the goals, progress and results of each project funded by the SEP grants.

Projects will be completed by the end of 2011.

The Community-Based Economic Development Program within DBEDT provides financial and technical assistance and support for community-based economic development efforts through the awarding of grants and low-interest loans.
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For more information about the SEP program, please contact:

Jamie Lum
Dept of Business & Economic Development
Economic Development Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-2753
Email: jlum@dbedt.hawaii.gov

Wayne Thom
Dept of Business & Economic Development
Economic Development Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-2772
Email: wthom@dbedt.hawaii.gov