On May 9, 2017, the Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) announced grants of $277,000 to 14 organizations for projects related to water quality, land conservation, or environmental education.
Located in Richmond, the VEE was started in 1977 with $8 million of the $13.2 million assessed on Allied Chemical Corporation for pollution of the James River with the pesticide Kepone from the company’s Hopewell, Va., plant. According to the organization’s Web site (http://www.vee.org/), “[t]he mission of the Virginia Environmental Endowment is to improve the quality of the environment by using its capital, expertise and resources to encourage all sectors to work together to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and promote environmental literacy. Although accorded a national scope by its charter, the Endowment currently limits awards to eligible nonprofit organizations for programs conducted in the state of Virginia and in the Kanawha and Ohio River Valleys of Kentucky and West Virginia.”
The VEE’s press release on the awards is available online at http://www.vee.org/about/latest-news/. Following are the recently announced awards and recipients, according to the press release.
Charlottesville and Central Virginia
*Rivanna Conservation Alliance, $25,000 to “expand citizen water quality monitoring expertise and sites on the Rivanna and its tributaries.”
*Southern Environmental Law Center, $35,000 to “support core programs in land use and transportation solutions that promote sustainable development and conservation statewide and defend regulations and programs that aim to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.”
Coastal Region/ Chesapeake Bay
*William & Mary Law School, Virginia Coastal Policy Center, $35,000 for “legal and policy research to assist local communities with resilience planning due to sea level rise, groundwater depletion, and recurrent flooding, and support for the Center’s annual conference.”
*Virginia Institute of Marine Science/Virginia Sea Grant, $10,000 per year for two years to “establish the Commonwealth Coastal and Marine Policy Fellowship program, which will provide one-year opportunities for recent post-graduate students to serve within host state natural resources agencies.”
Richmond/James River Basin
*James River Association, $30,000 to “produce an enhanced State of the James report, to provide a more comprehensive overview of the health of the James River in the fall of 2017.”
*VIRGINIAforever, $12,500 to “conduct an updated study regarding how natural resources funding in Virginia’s state budget compares to other states.”
*Virginia United Land Trusts, $20,000 to “strengthen Virginia’s land conservation community by enhancing the statewide umbrella organization’s support of the state’s local land trusts, including efforts to sustain long-term conservation funding and stable tax credits.”
*Virginia Association of Soil and Water Districts, $8000 for “continued support and expansion of the Youth Conservation Leadership Institute to mentor high school students who have shown an increased interest in conservation and serving their communities.”
*Friends of the Rappahannock, $15,000 to “support the Headwaters Stream Initiative to expand the organization’s work throughout the Rappahannock watershed, [supporting] trout restoration projects and work with property owners in six headwater counties to restore riparian buffers along streams and rivers.
*Piedmont Environmental Council, $16,000, to “advance a targeted land and water quality initiative seeking to improve the Goose Creek watershed in Loudoun and Fauquier counties….”
*Shenandoah National Park Trust on behalf of Blue Ridge PRISM, $15,000 Challenge Grant to “support…an innovative education program aimed at increasing landowner awareness about the damage caused by non-native plants and encouraging replacement with native species in a 10-county region.”
Southern and Southwest Virginia
*Black Family Land Trust, $15,000 Challenge Grant to “support the Virginia Sustainable Forestry and African-American Land Retention Program to retain African-American owned forestland in the seven counties…(Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, and Sussex).
*Upper Tennessee River Roundtable, $6000 to “advance projects to improve water quality, and to provide educational resources in the Clinch River watershed in Tazewell County in southwest Virginia.”
*Land Trust Alliance, $25,000 to “continue and expand upon work of a ‘circuit rider’ professional land trust coach to strengthen land trusts in southern Virginia, and, in addition, provide training and support for land trusts in the Shenandoah, Upper Potomac, Rappahannock, Rapidan watersheds and Eastern Shore about how to effectively support Chesapeake Bay land and water quality improvement goals.”