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Tampa Bay Water funds three community programs to protect drinking water sources

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Three organizations receive $21,950 in grants

CLEARWATER – Tampa Bay Water awarded $21,950 in grant funds to help Tampa Bay area nonprofits protect the region’s sources of drinking water. The utility is partnering with the Florida Aquarium, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida and Tampa Bay Kayak Anglers on projects that protect and restore sensitive waterways, and educate families, teachers, students and residents through environmental education programs.

“These organizations are ready and willing to improve our community with innovative ideas to help us protect our environment and the region’s drinking water sources,” said Brandon Moore, Tampa Bay Water’s public communications manager. “They just need resources and we’re excited to provide those resources today.”

Tampa Bay Water will fund three organizations through its Source Water Protection Mini-grant Program.

The Florida Aquarium will use $8,600 in grant funding to provide workshops to inform educators about the sources of our drinking water supply in the Tampa Bay area and the importance of protecting our watersheds. Workshops will provide opportunities for educators grades 9-12 to interact with STEM-focused activities that can be used with students and other audiences that they teach. The project’s goal is to provide outreach to the broader Tampa Bay community through educators and their students. Lessons will be designed to be easy for teachers to replicate, so they may be used for years to come.

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida will use $8,350 in grant funding to teach girls ages 5-17 and adult volunteers about the importance of clean drinking water and source water protection. Funding will be used to install a new aerator to improve the water quality of Daisy Lake, install an educational hub where Girl Scouts will learn about the water cycle with hands-on activities, install a water bottle filling station and provide programming on source water protection. Source water protection information will be permanently affixed to the educational hub and water bottle filling station to ensure the thousands of Girl Scouts and community group members that use Camp Indian Echo each year continue to learn about the importance of clean drinking water.

Tampa Bay Kayak Anglers will use $5,000 in grant funding to host two community clean-ups where participants will paddle along a designated section of the Hillsborough River or Old Tampa Bay to collect and remove litter and debris. This hands-on activity improves water quality and serves as an educational experience to raise awareness about the importance of source water protection. The project aims to instill a sense of environmental responsibility and mobilize the Hispanic community to actively participate in the preservation of natural resources to create a better future for Tampa Bay area residents.

About the Source Water Protection Mini-grant Program

The Source Water Protection Mini-grant Program is an important component of Tampa Bay Water’s outreach and education efforts for source water protection. A major line of defense in protecting drinking water sources is public awareness and support. Local community groups, nonprofit groups, schools and universities are eligible to apply for mini-grants from Tampa Bay Water ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. Funds for these activities are approved by the Board of Directors in the fiscal year budget. Eligible projects must relate to protecting regional drinking water supplies such as river and watershed conservation efforts, education and information seminars, workshops, exhibits, school activities, implementation of best management practices, awareness campaigns and river cleanups.