The deadline for student-led teams to apply for the Youth For Clean Water microgrant program has been extended but also quickly approaching – October 30, 2022. Back in March, Project Clean Water, the county-wide initiative dedicated to protecting water quality, introduced the microgrant program which will award $500 each to three teams for pollution prevention-themed projects addressing polluted runoff reduction, proper trash and pet waste disposal, or the capture and reuse of stormwater.
“Our youth are the next stewards of clean water, and we want to empower them through these grants to come up with creative ideas that will not only educate San Diegans but also make a direct impact on water quality,” said Chelsea McGimpsey with Project Clean Water and County of San Diego’s Watershed Protection Program. “We hope all high school students apply for the opportunity to bring their vision to life.”
The microgrant program gives high school students, preferably in an Environmental Club, STEM Program or Conservancy Group, the tools and resources they need to design stormwater-themed projects that address their location- and demographic-specific needs. The funds can be used for materials, prototyping, experimentation, concept testing, market research, software, licensing and legal fees or design development. Students will also have access to stormwater mentors in a coworking digital space located on the Project Clean Water website. Three microgrants will be awarded each year for the next three years, taking this program until 2024.
The objectives of Youth For Clean Water are to build the capacity of young people in matters of water quality focusing on issues related to stormwater pollution, provide young people a platform to share and exchange ideas while showcasing their innovative solutions on stormwater-related issues affecting their communities, and facilitate an inclusive platform to engage youths and youth-led organizations, governments, and development partners to further strengthen participation.
In a 2018 survey, only a quarter of San Diego County residents were fully aware that water in storm drains flows into local waterways or the ocean without treatment. One year ago, Project Clean Water set out on a four-year public outreach campaign aimed at raising awareness of stormwater issues and encouraging behaviors that promote water quality. Project Clean Water consists of 21 public agencies who are dedicated to protecting water quality in San Diego County, with a specific emphasis on reducing stormwater pollution. The agencies work together to develop a centralized regional clearinghouse for water quality information, resources, and water management plans to enhance water quality.
To learn more about the application process, selection criteria and apply visit www.projectcleanwater.org/youth-engagement/.
About Project Clean Water
Project Clean Water is a county-wide initiative dedicated to protecting water quality in San Diego County. The initiative fosters greater awareness of everyday actions people can take to reduce runoff and stormwater pollution. Project Clean Water is made up of 21 agencies that offer a centralized point-of-access for water quality information, resources, and water management plans. Project Clean Water encompasses all 11 of the regional watersheds. The goal is to support the region’s water quality on behalf of healthy ecosystems and communities. For more information: www.projectcleanwater.org
Project Clean Water is a joint, coordinated effort by the: County of San Diego; City of San Diego; City of Carlsbad; City of Chula Vista; City of Coronado; City of Del Mar; City of El Cajon; City of Encinitas; City of Escondido; City of Imperial Beach; City of La Mesa; City of Lemon Grove; City of National City; City of Oceanside; City of Poway; City of San Marcos; City of Santee; City of Solana Beach; City of Vista; Port of San Diego; and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.