The Port of Long Beach will accept grant applications later this year from local organizations to bring health programs and new air filters to communities most affected by cargo movement in San Pedro Bay.
The solicitations are part of the first round of the Port Community Grants Program. On Monday, the Board of Harbor Commissioners approved guidelines for the $46 million plan, which aims to help those in the community who are most vulnerable to port-related pollution. The funding will be distributed over the next 12 to 15 years and adds to the $18.2 million awarded under a previous grant program, making the total commitment to the community almost $65 million.
No other port authority in the country has voluntarily committed as much money to community-based mitigation as the Port of Long Beach, said Board of Harbor Commissioners President Lori Ann Guzmán.
“We believe in environmental sustainability and social responsibility, and this program loudly and clearly demonstrates the Port of Long Beach’s pledge to the community to be a responsible neighbor,” said Guzmán.
This year, the Port plans on allocating $3.4 million from the program. The bulk of the funding, $3 million, is set aside for health programs lasting three years. Projects include health services such as screening and diagnosis, outreach, case management, education or health worker training for those affected by asthma and other respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses.
The remaining $400,000 is intended to replace air filters in facilities that serve sensitive populations: children, pregnant women, the elderly, the chronically ill and individuals with respiratory and cardiopulmonary illnesses. The two solicitation priorities were selected based upon feedback from the community at public workshops.
Two geographic zones will help determine the most eligible grant recipients. While groups based anywhere in the city of Long Beach are eligible for grant funding, there is a priority zone covering downtown and extending north along the Interstate 710 corridor. Both zones also include parts of Wilmington, Carson, Compton and Paramount.
The Port will host two workshops on this year’s solicitations, both on Wednesday, April 19 at the Port of Long Beach Interim Administrative Offices, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive:
Air filters from 2-3 p.m.
Health programs from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
To learn more about the grant program, view the fact sheet, or visit www.polb.com/grants.
Photo caption: Attendees offer input on their priorities for the Port Community Grants Program during an October 2016 workshop at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.