Environmental Champions grant application period opens; Port Arthur and Sabine Pass programs in focus

Published 12:20 am Thursday, March 7, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The third annual Environmental Champions Grant Initiative, powered by Port Arthur LNG is now open.

The initiative aligns with PA LNG’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability and their belief that protecting and preserving the environment is compatible with the responsible development of energy infrastructure, said Kelly Prasser, Sempra Infrastructure director of external affairs.

The initiative provides grants to local nonprofits and community-based organizations with projects and programs benefitting environmental stewardship activities in the communities of Port Arthur and Sabine Pass.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For the third year in a row, Port Arthur LNG is partnering with The Port Arthur News in this endeavor.

The grant application period has opened and runs through March 17.

Qualifying 501c3 and 501c4 community-based organizations can apply online at forms.office.com/r/QrygPr17zM

Those who log onto panews.com between now and March 17 will see numerous displays calling attention to the Environmental Champions Grant Initiative. Clicking on those displays sends web users directly to the online application window.

Stephen Hemelt, publisher with The Port Arthur News, said this initiative is the bridge that connects generations and entities within Port Arthur.

New to the effort in 2023 was the team behind Linda’s Lighthouse, which was created in memory of Linda Griffin Lucas, an avid supporter of Port Arthur.

“One of the areas that they focused on last year was efforts aimed at the local aging population,” Hemelt said. “Linda’s Lighthouse does a lot of activities that involve the younger generation and children. For older residents, they thought it would be a great idea to have something to be actively involved in, such as a garden. The grant via Port Arthur LNG provided an opportunity for a garden effort that could be intertwined with the youth.”

Past projects

Prasser said one of the highlights from last year’s initiative is a partnership with Thomas Jefferson Middle School and the launch of the new Monarch Habitat and Conservation Center on campus.

“Monarch butterflies have long graced the skies of Texas during their annual migration,” he said. “A steady decline in their population has placed them on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of endangered and threatened species.”

A new school project with funding help from Environmental Champions brings to life a natural habitat for butterflies and serves as an outdoor laboratory learning space.

Last May, the Monarch Whisperers at Thomas Jefferson Middle School got together for the inaugural Monarch Festival, which was possible through the Port Arthur LNG Environmental Champions grant initiative.

Officials with the school said the Monarch butterfly habitat teaches children about the importance of butterflies and how their migration pattern assists the ecosystem.

This was incorporated into curriculum at the school, including science, poetry writing, essay writing, art and photography.

Who benefits from Environmental Champions?

Local organizations with programs and projects in the areas of habitat preservation and restoration, community enhancement, environmental science and agricultural education, and sustainability, Prasser said.

Importance to Port Arthur LNG

As part of our commitment to the environment, company leaders want to work in partnership with local organizations dedicated to improving sustainability in urban and natural ecosystems.

Port Arthur LNG partners with these organizations to support community-driven projects in the areas of restoration, conservation and beautification.

“We know that by working with these partners, we are making a positive impact in our communities,” Prasser said.

Grant info

Awarded grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000 per organization.

In 2023, there were 16 organizations awarded grants.

The number of grants for this year depends on the number of grant applications received and the types of programs submitted for consideration.

“Port Arthur LNG is thrilled to continue our partnership with The Port Arthur News to reach and highlight organizations that have innovative and exceptional environmental stewardship efforts making a difference in our local communities,” Prasser said.

“This effort has really energized our community for the better.”