WASHINGTON (February 24, 1998) -- Four Catholic church groups in Florida, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico and Texas have won grants of $6,000 each to address environmental issues in their area.
The grants include efforts to clean up the Clinton River Watershed in Michigan, educate Catholics on environmental problems in Florida, examine the effects of growth in New Mexico's Rio Grande corridor and convene ranchers, farmers and environmentalists in Texas and Kansas.
The grants are provided through the U.S. Catholic Conference (USCC) Environmental Justice Program, which annually provides grants of $4,000 to $6,000 for networking and public policy agenda development. Selected initiatives link environmental concerns and Catholic social teaching.
In Michigan, the Detroit Archdiocese will organize 40 parishes to address the pollution of the Clinton River watershed due to urban sprawl. In New Mexico, the state's bishops will launch an effort to address environmental problems with a statewide conference and action plan associated with the traditional Feast of San Ysidro in May.
In Florida, the Florida Catholic Conference and the Florida Council of Catholic Scholarship will initiate a scholars program to promote Catholic academic work in the area of environmental ethics.
The Dioceses of Amarillo and Lubbock, in Texas, and the Diocese of Dodge City, in Kansas, will convene farmers, ranchers and environmentalists for on-going dialogue toward a solution to agricultural environmental problems.
This USCC environment program is part of an ecumenical effort known as the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. The other partners are the National Council of Catholic Churches, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network.