Delaware communities adversely affected by environmental pollution can now apply for Community Environmental Project Fund restoration grants for the 2021 grant cycle.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has scheduled two virtual public workshops focused on the CEPF program and how to apply for the grants.
The virtual workshops will be held at 7 p.m., Thursdays, Sept. 17 and 24. Connection information for the workshops is posted on the Delaware public meetings calendar and on the Community Environmental Project Fund website. Preregistration is suggested, but not required for participation.
The Delaware General Assembly created the Community Environmental Project Fund in 2004 to fund restoration projects in communities impacted by environmental pollution. Grant funding is available to affected communities for projects that result in reduced pollution, enhanced natural resources and enhanced recreational opportunities.
Projects supported by the fund must be in the same drainage basin as the violation for which a fine was collected. Applicants can identify the drainage basin location of their projects by going to maps.dnrec.delaware.gov/communitypenaltyfund/.
Recently funded CEPF projects statewide have included a habitat restoration and scrap tire cleanup, a pollinating rain garden at a school, healthy home and energy assessments, a museum trail project, an energy savings model home for a lo- income community, a native plantings project to mitigate stormwater runoff, educational signage for a stormwater management site, and a floating dock and canoe/kayak project that provides recreational access and helps stabilize canal banks.
IRS tax-exempt organizations are eligible for CEPF grants of up to $25,000. These groups include civic and community organizations, educational institutions, counties, municipal governments, state agencies and quasi-state agencies. The application deadline is Thursday, Oct. 30. The projects funded in this grant cycle can begin July 1, 2021 and should be completed by June 30, 2022.
To register or for more information about the workshops, contact DNREC Community Ombudsman James Brunswick, division of community affairs, at 302-739-9040 or James.Brunswick@delaware.gov.
For the grant application and workshop details, go to de.gov/cepf.