$1.2 million in community grants awarded to environmental projects across North America

The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation announces winners of the NAPECA grant program.

The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), composed of the highest-level environmental authorities from Canada, Mexico, and the United States, today awarded $1.2 million in grants under CEC’s North American Partnership for Environmental Community Action (NAPECA) program for 18 new projects that will support communities across North America in addressing environmental problems at the local level.

NAPECA grants will tackle a wide range of environmental challenges: In Canada, new work will begin on measuring carbon storage in temperate eelgrass and salt marsh habitats to support the restoration and conservation of these types of habitats; in the U.S., the benefits of solar energy will be brought to small, historically underserved communities in northern New Mexico, using renewable sources for energy production instead of fossil fuels; and in Mexico, remote communities in the Sierra Tarahumara will receive support to grow leafy greens locally throughout the year, thanks to bio-intensive management techniques and water catchment systems, thus improving the diet and ensuring food security.

The 18 projects were selected based on how significantly they were able to address community and North American environmental issues related to the CEC priorities for 2010–2015, their innovation and technical, methodological or scientific approaches, their replicability across the three countries, and their emphasis on producing clear and tangible results. The projects embody a broad base of hands-on groups and organizations, representing indigenous communities, community organizations, environmental groups, and academic institutions. In 2010, CEC Council members—the environment ministers of the three North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries—created the NAPECA grant program to encourage innovative and model environmental initiatives at the community level in support of CEC priorities.

To find out more about NAPECA and the winning projects, visit www.cec.org/napeca.

You can also find us on Facebook and on Twitter @CECweb using #NAPECA.