Grant for Community and Urban Science Enrichment Program

Waste to Energy Firm Covanta Invests in NJ Youth Science Program

Covanta is making funding available through its Fishing for Energy PPP initiative to assist the Center for Aquatic Sciences’ Community and Urban Science Enrichment Program.


Waste to energy firm, Covanta, is making additional funding available through its Covanta and Fishing for Energy PPP initiative to assist the Center for Aquatic Sciences’ Community and Urban Science Enrichment Program (CAUSE).

The company explained that the $39,000 grant affords a dozen middle and high school students from Camden, New Jersey the opportunity to participate in the CAUSE Adventure Aquarium, a five year program for select students from the City of Camden that provides mentoring, college preparation and intensive academic training in environmental and life sciences. 

The program has gained attention in recent years as a model for inner-city youth development for its comprehensive approach to science education with a supportive, yet rigorous curriculum.

In recognition of World Oceans Week, CAUSE students and their families joined representatives from Covanta and Fishing for Energy to announce the grant at a ceremony held at the Center for Aquatic Sciences in Camden.

The grant funding, provided in part by Covanta’s Camden Energy-from-Waste facility and the Fishing for Energy partnership, will also help support programming for this year’s CAUSE theme “Trash Talk,” including internship training with a specialized focus on the pressing environmental issue of marine debris pollution. 

“It’s partnerships like these that make the CAUSE program special. Thanks to this support from Fishing for Energy and Covanta, our students have the opportunity to develop a series of hands-on activities and demonstrations for Camden City summer camp youth and the public at community festivals or family days that encourage environmental stewardship as it relates to water, life and habitats,” said President and CEO of the Center for Aquatic Sciences, Brian DuVall.

CAUSE will draw from the specialised expertise of the Fishing for Energy partnership, which works with local commercial fishermen and ports to collect and sustainably dispose of thousands of abandoned fishing traps and other unwanted gear.

Since its inception, Fishing for Energy has removed more than three million pounds (1360 metric tonnes) of old fishing gear and marine debris from US waterways and coastlines and converted it into energy at Covanta’s waste to energy facilities, such as the one located in Camden.

One ton (907kg) of derelict gear or marine debris was said to be able to generate enough electricity to power one home for 25 days. 

“Environmental stewardship is at the core of Covanta’s company mission so we are delighted to support the Center for Aquatic Sciences in equipping the youth of Camden with the tools and skills to be the next generation of environmental and community leaders,” said Meg Morris, Covanta’s vice president of materials management and community affairs. 

“We are so pleased that we can provide support for a program that not only addresses the harmful issues of marine pollution, but also furthers STEM education in the Camden community,” she concluded.

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