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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 6, 2002
10:01 AM
CONTACT:  Sierra Club
Javier Sierra, (703) 927 4750
Sierra Club to Fund Mexican Grassroots Environmental Projects
Fighting Pollution and Improving Living Conditions South of the Border
 
EL PASO, TEXAS - August 6 - The Sierra Club announced today that it will fund environmental projects run by four Mexican grassroots organizations. The projects chosen to receive financial assistance are all designed to fight pollution and to improve the working and living conditions of border communities.

"Environmental degradation, caused by the explosive growth of the maquiladora industry, has reached alarming levels throughout the border region," said Jenny Martinez, Sierra Club Program Officer. "Dangerous chemicals have poisoned the air, land, and water that these communities rely on."

The grants, which range from $10,000-$25,000, are part of the Sierra Club's Beyond the Borders, Mexico project. A joint project of the Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Foundation, Beyond the Borders, Mexico is designed to support and strengthen grassroots environmental and community groups in Mexico. The groups will use the money for activities ranging from fighting illegal dumping and garbage burning, to monitoring the levels of ocean and drinking water contamination, promoting recycling programs, or expanding outreach to the community through environmental education campaigns.

The following groups received funding: Centro de Estudios Fronterizos y de Promoción de los Derechos Humanos and GAVIOTA of Centro Reynosa, Tamaulipas; Grupo Ecologista "Gaviotas" Playas de Tijuana of Tijuana, Baja California Norte, and Centro de Investigación y Solidaridad Obrera of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.

"We consider a healthy environment to be a human right," said Omeheira López, Director of the Centro de Estudios Fronterizos y de Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, A.C. in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, "With this grant, we'll be able to pursue legal and grassroots strategies to protect the environment and public health for the families and communities of the border region."

Mexican and Sierra Club border groups interested in applying for Beyond the Border, Mexico Project grants can find the application and grant guidelines by visiting the Sierra Club's bilingual web page (link to:http://www.sierraclub.org/beyondtheborders/espanol/mexico/lineamientos.asp#application .)

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