Delta MERP Small Grants Program

The Delta MERP Small Grants Program is administered by the California Department of Public Health in coordination with the Delta Conservancy and Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. The intent of the Small Grant Program is to fund 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.

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 – 2017 Request for Proposals (RFP) has been released. Please refer to the RFP (link below) for detailed information on how to apply. A summary of the program is included below:

2016-2017 Delta MERP Small Grants Program RFP

Funding Available: A total award amount of $40,000 is available for this grant program, funded by state and federal agencies, counties, municipalities, farmers, and land managers that release mercury to the California Delta.

Size of Grants: Applicants may apply for funding amounts up to $20,000. Only one grant application may be submitted per applicant.

Grant Timeline: Funded projects will be implemented over a twelve month period, beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017.

Informational Webinar:  An informational webinar will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm, to review the grant application requirements and to answer questions from applicants.

Eligibility of Applicants: Applicants must be a non-profit organization, a federally-recognized Tribe, or a Tribe that is state-recognized or has a non-profit status. Only one grant application may be submitted from each applicant.

Application Deadline: If sent by email or fax, proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) on April 13, 2016. If sent by US mail, proposals must be postmarked by 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2016.

Award Date:  Successful applicants will be notified by May 29, 2016.

For any questions related to this RFP, please contact:

Kathryn Kynett
(916) 376-4022

Three organizations were awarded funding in 2015. For a list of organizations awarded funding and a description of their projects, see below:

The Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residential Association (APSARA) is a non-profit organization that provides leadership for Cambodian residents in San Joaquin County by empowering and collaborating with the larger community to build a safe and positive environment. APSARA has been in existence for more than 20 years providing services in various areas such as nutrition education, mental and physical health support, youth education, and senior support. APSARA partners with San Joaquin County Public Health Services, University of the Pacific, Stockton Unified School District, and St. Joseph’s Medical Center to provide programs and services to low-income families in San Joaquin County. Through this project, APSARA will implement outreach and educational activities to reduce the risks associated with consuming contaminated fish in the Cambodian and other Southeast Asian populations such as Vietnamese, Lao and Hmong in San Joaquin County. To do so, APSARA will identify at-risk populations and devise ways to reach these populations through effective exposure reduction activities. APSARA will use various channels for educating their target audience such as distributing Delta MERP materials at community events, conducting presentations to the community, developing a blog targeted at youth, and assisting with Delta advisory sign development activities.

The California Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA) is a community-based organization located in Oakland, CA, whose mission is to protect and restore California Indian People’s traditions, ancestral territories, and environmental health. CIEA’s work revolves around educating vulnerable populations on how to eat fish safely while avoiding contaminants from legacy mining in California. CIEA staff has provided trainings to American Indian health clinics, community clinics, and directly to the public since 2003. CIEA has also worked with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the California Department of Public Health to develop educational materials and improve messaging. The goal of CIEA’s project is to reduce exposure to mercury from fish consumption in the most vulnerable populations including pregnant women, women who might become pregnant, and children. The project’s vision is that families are enabled to make healthy decisions by receiving consistent messaging on the benefits and risks associated with eating fish from the Delta and other sources. To accomplish this, CIEA will provide training to health clinic providers and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) clinic staff, and will conduct direct public education activities in impacted communities in Solano and Contra Costa Counties.

The Lao Khmu Association (LKA) was established in 1983 with the mission of assisting Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees in San Joaquin County to overcome the socioeconomic barriers that often impede their ability to function as independent, self-sufficient citizens. Since its inception, LKA has provided wellness, healthcare access, emergency response, and educational development services to the six major Southeast Asian populations (Lao, Khmu, Hmong, Cambodian, Mien, and Vietnamese). Public health issues have long been a primary focus of LKA; in recent years, LKA has worked with First Five, California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Public Health Trust on a number of outreach and educational projects, including community education projects on mercury in fish. Through this project, LKA aims to enhance awareness among the Southeast Asian community of San Joaquin County concerning the benefits and risks associated with consuming fish from the Delta. LKA will integrate Delta MERP educational messages into its existing activities and deliver these messages at cultural and community events, workshops, and through individual meetings, as a way to positively affect the choice of fish as part of a well-balanced diet and reduce exposure to excessive levels of mercury and other contaminants, particularly among high-risk populations.

Congratulations to our grantees!