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Tampa Bay Water offers mini-grants
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CLEARWATER - Tampa Bay Water is offering $20,000 in mini-grants to fund events and projects sponsored by local community groups, non-profit groups, schools and universities that promote protection of our region’s drinking water sources.

The agency is accepting applications until Nov. 20, at 5 p.m.

Applications are available online at tampa­baywa­ter.o­rg/so­urce-­water­-prot­ectio­n-min­i-gra­nt-fu­nding, or by contacting Michelle Stom, Tampa Bay Water’s chief communications officer, at 727-796-2355 or 813-996-7009.

To qualify for a grant, applicants must provide an event or project plan related to source water protection in Tampa Bay Water’s service area that includes Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

The mini-grants fund organizations $2,000 to $10,000 for community-based activities such as river clean-ups, educational field trips and public outreach events.

“Tampa Bay Water delivers high quality drinking water and we always say, clean water starts at the source,” Stom said in a media release. “The mini-grants help those who are dedicated to keeping our region’s drinking water sources clean.”

In 2015, Tampa Bay Water awarded two $10,000 mini-grants that funded projects by Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful.

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo used funds to make source water protection a consistent theme in its education and outreach efforts. Grant funding went toward source water protection research, messaging and educational materials.

Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful used funds for educational initiatives that included interactive presentations to schools and community groups. This included the organization’s annual Youth Environmental Education Conference that hosted regional high school and college students. Their education and outreach programs focus on litter prevention, waste reduction, conservation and beautification, and work to cultivate and support environmental citizenship, awareness, understanding and appreciation for Florida’s fragile ecosystem.

All mini-grant applications will be reviewed and screened against the program’s selection criteria. Organizations receiving a mini-grant will be notified before the end of 2015 and funds will be granted in 2016.

Tampa Bay Water provides wholesale water to the public utility systems of Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, as well as the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa. To learn more about Tampa Bay Water, visit www.t­ampab­aywat­er.or­g.
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