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EPA Administrator Announces 2015 Tribal ecoAmbassadors (October 27, 2014)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the agency's 2015 Tribal ecoAmbassadors, tribal college and university professors who work in partnership with EPA scientists to improve environmental conditions and public health in tribal communities, at the National Congress of American Indians' annual convention in Atlanta, GA. The ecoAmbassadors program funds research at tribal colleges and universities, bringing environmental improvements to schools and neighborhoods.

EPA's Tribal ecoAmbassadors, along with their students, will participate in training, conduct research, and share proposed solutions with tribal partners. At the end of this academic year, EPA's Tribal ecoAmbassadors Program will have invested over $1.4 million in tribal communities, and provided 20 tribal college and university professors, and 150 students, the opportunity to work with EPA scientists.  In addition, the program has produced several transferable online courses, a viable construction business opportunity, and forged dozens of new partnerships to sustain the program?s work.

EPA is committed to supporting the implementation of federal environmental laws consistent with the federal trust responsibility, the government-to-government relationship, and EPA's 1984 Indian Policy of federally recognized tribes.

This year's recipients are:
* Fond Du Lac College, Cloquet, MN - Dr. Courtney Kowalczak: To conduct research on using dragonfly larvae to monitor mercury bioaccumulation in tribal waters.
* Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM - Dr. Annie McDonnell: To create a living, GIS map of sustainability projects on campus and educate the community on major environmental issues, including climate adaptation and climate mitigation.
* Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, WA - Ane Berrett, in partnership with AmeriCorps: To conduct several projects, including model garden and landscaping plan creation, to help build a model of food sovereignty for the Northwest Indian College and Lummi communities.
* Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, MT - Dr. Robert Kenning: To enhance the effectiveness of local camas restoration efforts on the Flathead Indian reservation by enhancing knowledge of soil moisture and competition from invasive species.

Information on Tribal ecoAmbassadors or to apply: http://www.epa.gov/ecoambassadors/tribal/index.html
Information on EPA EcoAmbassador programs: http://www.epa.gov/ecoambassadors/index.html

Administrator Keynotes Georgetown University Conference on Energy and the Environment (October 24, 2014)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will give the keynote address on the future of energy and the environment and the economic needs for acting on climate change at Georgetown University's 2014 LEAD (Leadership. Evidence. Analysis. Debate.) Conference. McCarthy will focus on how we can turn our climate challenge into an opportunity to modernize our power sector, lay the foundation for a low-carbon economy, and fuel growth for decades to come. A world-leading economy depends on a healthy environment and a safe climate, which is why this past June, EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from our largest source, power plants.

EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Assistance to Build Resilience, Pursue Revitalization (October 23, 2014)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today invited communities to apply for technical assistance to implement smart growth development approaches. EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to help communities across the country, including under-served communities, coastal communities, small cities and rural areas, adopt sustainable growth strategies.  

The program aims to increase resilience to natural disasters and strengthen the economy while protecting human health and the environment. The Building Blocks program provides quick, targeted technical assistance to communities using tools with demonstrated results and widespread application.

Communities may apply for assistance on one or more of the following topics: 

* Bikeshare planning;
* Equitable development; 
* Infill development for distressed cities; 
* Sustainable strategies for small cities and rural areas; 
* Flood resilience for riverine and coastal communities.

If selected, a community will work with an EPA-supported team of experts during a one-to-two-day workshop, where participants will learn about relevant strategies, policies, and practices.

EPA will select up to 25 communities through a competitive process. Selections will be made in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. This interagency collaboration coordinates federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.

Applications will be accepted between October 23 and November 20, 2014. EPA will host a webinar to discuss the program and the application process on Thursday, October 30, 2014, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT.


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