Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School used their 2015 DHEC grant to restore a salt marsh habitat
DHEC announced the winners of the 2019 Champions of the Environment grant on Dec. 3. Among the 11 schools that were awarded the $2,500 grant, James B. Edwards Elementary and Mount Pleasant Academy in Charleston County received the prize for a joint project.
"The students and staff of Mount Pleasant Academy are extremely excited about the opportunity to support our local marsh habitat through this partnership," says Kim Jackson, principal of Mount Pleasant Academy. "This Champion of the Environment grant gives our students a chance to work with environmentalists to provide important information to global awareness of climate change."
According to DHEC, the grant money will help the students of both schools in a project to “restore a salt marsh habitat and contribute relevant data to an international database for global analysis of climate change.”
Local conservationists and environmentalists have advocated for the restoration of marshland and natural landscapes in the Lowcountry in response to increased flooding. The Dutch Dialogues final meeting in October encouraged the city to work with water and promote nature to combat flooding.
Many Johns Island residents have also linked flooding in their area to development of rural sites.
Other 2019 grant winners focused on innovative garden irrigation systems and wildlife conservation. Blythewood High School in Richland County, another creative winner, plans to use their grant to create biodiesel fuel from recycled cooking oil. At Emerald High School in Greenwood County, hopes to establish a vegetable garden and install a school bee hive.
Champions of the Environment grants are awarded every school year to promote environmental education and action in state schools, kindergarten through 12th grade. Students, teachers, and environmental educators apply for grants through DHEC by outlining a project that focuses on pollution, water and energy efficiency, or natural preservation.