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Our Mission

Explore. Contribute. Connect.

The Nebraska Master Naturalist Program is a public and private partnership supported by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Nebraska Environmental Trust, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Nebraska Master Naturalist Foundation. Our program recruits, trains, manages, and provides resources for our Naturalist members participating in interpretation and outreach, resource management, citizen science, and outdoor skills and recreation in Nebraska.

Photo by Adrian Olivera

Our Impact to Date Since 2010

  • Trained Master Naturalists

    685

  • Volunteer Hours

    109,473

  • Volunteer Projects

    9,000

  • Impact Value

    $3481241

News & Notes

MAY 24, 2024 (WASHINGTON) – The House Committee on Agriculture passed the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, which now goes to the full House for a vote. Among other policies, the bill...

WASHINGTON – Today, May 24, the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, is recognizing the 16th annual “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage Americans to take a few simple steps to protect their skin and eye health while outdoors. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can increase the risk of developing skin cancer and cataracts, so it is important to be aware of the strength of the sun’s UV rays and take simple steps to protect your skin and eyes while outdoors.

“Remember to protect your skin and eyes from UV rays before you go outdoors,” said Joseph Goffman, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Don’t Fry Day is a great annual reminder of the importance of sun safety, and you can use the EPA’s UV Index app to get the UV forecast for your location and tips on how to be sun safe.” 

Almost 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer. Since many skin cancer cases are caused by overexposure to UV radiation, protecting your skin outdoors is an important step to reducing your skin cancer risk. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2024, more than 100,600 new cases of invasive melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will be diagnosed in the United States. This is approximately 3,000 more cases than were estimated in 2023.

All people are equally at risk of eye damage and developing cataracts, but some people may be at greater risk of contracting skin cancer depending on the color of their skin, a history of blistering sunburns in early childhood, the presence of many moles, or a family history of skin cancer. Also, although sun safety is especially important in summer when we spend more time outdoors, UV can be high throughout the year depending on factors such as location, elevation, and reflective surfaces like sand and snow.

The EPA, the National Weather Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work together to make the UV Index forecast available in the United States. The EPA’s UV Index app (search for the EPA’s UV Index in the App Store and on Google Play) is a convenient tool to let you know the strength of the sun’s skin cancer-causing UV rays. The app gives daily and hourly UV intensity forecasts for your location, provides recommendations on sun safety, and is also available in Spanish. Reduce your risk of skin cancer and eye damage by remembering to:

  • SLIP! – Slip on a long-sleeved shirt or other clothing that covers your skin.
  • SLOP! – Slop on a handful of sunscreen with sun protection factor 15 or higher, and re-apply every two hours, or sooner if in the water.
  • SLAP! – Slap on a broad-brimmed hat to cover the back of your neck and the tips of your ears.
  • WRAP! – Wrap on a pair of sunglasses. The kind that wrap around the sides of your face provide more sun protection.
  • Avoid tanning beds and minimize sunbathing.
  • Check the UV Index before spending time outdoors and dress appropriately.

Download Don’t Fry Day and sun safety posters, sign up for a daily UV Index forecast via email, or check the UV Index online daily on the EPA’s sun safety webpage.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – On May 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $3,150,770 in grant awards from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to expedite the assessment and cleanup of brownfield sites in South Carolina while advancing environmental justice. These investments through EPA’s Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs and Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Grant Programs will help transform once-polluted, vacant, and abandoned properties into community assets, while helping to create good jobs and spur economic revitalization in overburdened communities.

EPA selected two communities in South Carolina to receive two grants totaling more than $3,150,770 in competitive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant programs.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan will announce the awards in Philadelphia today alongside Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) at a local brownfield side near Bartram’s Mile.

For over 60 years, the site was used as an oil terminal, filled with storage tanks full of petroleum and other semi-volatile organic compounds. The City of Philadelphia has been working to reclaim brownfield sites along Bartram’s Mile, turning them into a community hub where residents can access trails for hiking and biking, as well as areas for fishing, gardening, farming and more.

 

“Far too many communities across America have suffered the harmful economic and health consequences of living near polluted brownfield sites,” said President Joe Biden. “I've long believed that people who’ve borne the burden of pollution should be the first to see the benefits of new investment. Under my Administration, we are making that a reality by ensuring the historic resources from my Investing in America agenda reach communities that need it most. I am proud that my Administration is helping Philadelphia clean up and transform this area into an economic engine, while tackling a longstanding environmental injustice and creating good-paying jobs.”

“President Biden sees contaminated sites and blighted areas as an opportunity to invest in healthier, revitalized communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “That’s why he secured historic funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, supercharging EPA’s Brownfields program to clean up contaminated properties in overburdened communities and bring them back into productive use.” 

“Today’s announcement by President Biden and Administrator Regan reflect this administration’s commitment to ensure that benefits of certain Federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution,” said Acting Regional Administrator Jeaneanne Gettle. “We are excited about the potential of these brownfields grants to provide jobs while cleaning up blighted areas of these communities and promoting public health and a cleaner environment.”

Many communities that are under economic stress, particularly those located in areas that have experienced long periods of disinvestment, lack the resources needed to initiate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment projects. As brownfield sites are transformed into community assets, they attract jobs, promote economic revitalization, and transform communities into sustainable and environmentally just places.

Thanks to the historic $1.5 billion boost from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA’s Brownfields Program is helping more communities than ever before begin to address the economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields and stimulate economic opportunity, and environmental revitalization in historically overburdened communities.

EPA’s Brownfields Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative which set a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. The Brownfields Program strives to meet this commitment and advance environmental justice and equity considerations in all aspects of its work. Approximately 86 percent of the MAC and RLF Supplemental program applications selected to receive funding proposed to work in areas that include disadvantaged communities.

State Funding Breakdown:

Brownfields Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Program Selection

The following organizations in South Carolina have been selected to receive EPA Brownfields funding through the Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup (MAC) Grant Programs.

  • The City of Hartsville has been selected to receive a $500,000 assessment grant from EPA. Grant funds also will be used to develop four cleanup plans and support reuse planning and community engagement activities. Assessment activities will occur in the Oakdale Neighborhood and College Heights communities within the City of Hartsville.

 

To see the list of the FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants selected for funding visit EPA’s FY 2024  Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

Additional Background:

EPA has selected these organizations to receive funding to address and support the reuse of brownfield sites to address the health, economic, social, and environmental challenges caused by brownfields. EPA anticipates making all the awards announced today once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

EPA’s Brownfields Program began in 1995 and has provided nearly $2.7 billion in Brownfield Grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return blighted properties to productive reuse. Prior to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this program made approximately $60 million available each year. Thanks to the President’s historic investments in America through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA has now increased that yearly investment nearly 400 percent. More than half of the funding available for this grant cycle (approximately $160 million) comes from the historic $1.5 billion investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This investment has also allowed the MAC grants’ maximum award amounts to increase significantly from $500,000 to a new maximum of $5 million per award.

To see the list of the FY 2024 Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup applicants selected for funding visit EPA’s FY 2024  Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

 To see the list of RLF Supplemental funding recipients visit EPA’s FY 2024  Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Applicants webpage.

 

To learn more about RLF Technical Assistance grant recipient visit EPA’s Brownfields Grow America webpage.

 

For more information on EPA’s Brownfields Program visit EPA’s Brownfields webpage.     

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Photo by Allison Dush
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