Delta MERP Grant Programs
Community Grant Program
The MERP Community Grant Program is intended to raise awareness by helping community groups integrate MERP messaging into their ongoing programs. Community Grants were given to community groups that targeted vulnerable populations, with a focus on women and children. These grants foster MERP program sustainability and integration of community groups instead of undertaking large projects as was done in the past.
The following organizations have received Community Grants:
- Rio Vista CARE
- Yolo County First 5
- San Joaquin County First 5
Small Grant Program
The Delta MERP Small Grant Program was administered by the California Department of Public Health in coordination with the Delta Conservancy and Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. From 2015-2017, the Small Grant Program funded community-based organizations or Tribes to conduct projects that increase public awareness and understanding of fish contamination issues and reduce exposure to chemicals from eating fish caught in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The following organizations have received Small Grants:
The Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association (APSARA) continued their exposure reduction activities from the previous grant year, 2015-2016, with a focus on program sustainability and updated MERP materials. APSARA also worked with their partners (San Joaquin County Public Health Services, University of the Pacific, Stockton Unified School District, and St. Joseph’s Medical Center) to incorporate MERP messaging into their programs and services for low-income families in San Joaquin County.
The Yolo County Children’s Alliance (YCCA) is a non-profit organization that addresses issues such as access to quality pediatric health care, childhood obesity, child neglect and abuse. The YCCA largely assists families with young children, immigrant households, and limited English speakers. Through the Delta MERP grant, YCCA integrated MERP messaging with existing public health information in programs such as healthcare enrollments, tax appointments, and parenting classes to inform vulnerable families. Additionally, YCCA led an outreach campaign throughout Yolo county to share MERP messaging at health fairs, back to school nights, and other community events.
The California Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA) is a non-profit organization that provides education to vulnerable populations on how to eat fish safely while avoiding contaminants from legacy mining in California. CIEA implemented the Delta Mercury Education Project: Making Healthy Fish Choices to help families make healthy decisions by receiving consistent messaging on the benefits and risks associated with eating fish from the Delta and other sources. CIEA also provided training to healthcare providers, such as the Women Infant and Children (WIC) clinic staff, and conducted direct public education activities in impacted communities in Solano and Contra Costa counties. They exceeded their own goals by providing consultations to 190 families during four community events. CIEA also gathered fish consumption surveys and pledges from the local community to provide vital feedback to progress the MERP program.
The Lao Khmu Association (LKA) is a non-profit organization that provides wellness, healthcare access, emergency response, and educational development services to the six major Southeast Asian populations (Lao, Khmu, Hmong, Cambodian, Mien and Vietnamese). LKA integrated Delta MERP educational messages into its existing activities and delivered these messages at cultural and community events, workshops, and individual meetings to positively affect fish consumption choices as a part of a well-balanced diet. Messages and MERP materials were provided to high-risk groups in all six major populations. LKA conducted six two-hour workshops, 120 one-on-one meetings, attended four large community events, trained Southeast Asian advocates, and distributed MERP materials to over 40 local organizations and 400 residents.
The Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association (APSARA) is a non-profit organization that provides leadership for Cambodian residents in Contra Costa and Solano counties by empowering and collaborating with the larger community to build a safe and positive environment. APSARA implemented MERP outreach to high-risk Southeast Asian populations such as the Cambodian, Vietnamese, Lao and Hmong. APSARA also collaborated with schools and community leaders to implement effective exposure reduction activities such as engaging with youth, conducting peer education workshops, posting fish consumption advisory signs, and distributing Delta MERP materials to target communities.