City of

Federal Legislative Agenda 2017

Environmental

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Continued Funding for Environmental Outreach Education Programs

Situation Assessment

The City of Laredo is aggressively expanding its scope of services in the community. One way to address the rampant litter and tire problems in the community as well as reduce non-point source pollution is by educating the citizens of Laredo, with an emphasis on our youth, on the effects of litter and used tires, and the desperate need to foster stewardship.

 

Background

In a massive effort to imprint good environmental habits to a population that is many times overlooked, the City of Laredo has initiated an extensive environmental education campaign, aimed at the youth in our community, with emphasis on water quality protection.

 

Through a U.S./Mexico Border Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Services Department continues to work on an initiative for all early childhood education in Laredo Texas, as well as Laredo’s sister city across the river - Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The Los Dos Laredo’s Environmental Pre-School up to second grade Education Project is the production of new environmental education material and gathering other pre-existing and available materials, and presenting the material by conducting several workshops on both sides of the Rio Grande, including all private and government funded day care provider entities and independent school districts. The goals of the projects are to 1.) bring awareness of non-point source pollution and its effects on our water quality; 2.) provide early grade level school educators with free environmental education materials (including a bilingual musical story book that describes the water cycle, litter control, and water quality pollution prevention activities) and downloadable web sites; and 3.) form a bridge of communication and cooperation between environmental professionals and early grade level educators.

 

Through the EPA Border 2012 (now Border 2020) Grant funded joint venture project called “Los Dos Laredo’s Watershed Monitoring, Education, and Litter Cleanup Project” between the City of Laredo’s Environmental Services Department, the Texas Watch Organization, Nvo. Laredo Mexico’s Sub-Secretaria de Ecología, and Keep Laredo Beautiful Nonprofit Organization, a number of high school level teachers and student volunteers from both local school districts received watershed education and monitoring training. They in-turn will be training additional educators and their participating students to conduct watershed surveying and monitoring. Volunteers will be participating in clean up campaigns within their respective and previously determined city watershed monitoring point stations.

 

The Department also completed a Border 2012 grant by creating an animated Non-Point Source Pollution Prevention Video. This video is the second phase of successful Stormwater Adventures of Inspector McCloud Musical Storybook, a 30 minute animated video, which includes the same pollution creating and pollution fighting characters; thus, helping us re-enforce our water quality pollution prevention message for our Los Dos Laredo’s children. Both border sister cities agreed that if we were ever going to make a significant and sustainable change in our citizen’s behavior and attitude, we had to continue our efforts in influencing our children’s fresh minds at an early age.

 

Solution

Grant funds and other federal assistance will enable the Environmental Services Department to continue the environmental education program for an environmentally sustainable community. Re-establishing and funding the Environmental Justice grants, and increasing funding for Border 2020 grants.

 

Target Agencies

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Justice and Border 2020

 

Contact

John Porter

Environmental Services Director

619 Reynolds St.

Laredo, Texas 78040

Phone: (956) 794-1650

Fax: (956) 727-7944

Email: jporter@ci.laredo.tx.us

 

 

Screenshot from Inspector McCloud's Stormwater Adventures