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Fundación Toyota awards $100K in grants to projects

Saskia Gómez, public relations executive at Toyota de Puerto Rico Corp., announces this year's winners.

Saskia Gómez, public relations executive at Toyota de Puerto Rico Corp., announces this year’s winners.

Seven organizations focused on environmental affairs will split more than $100,000 in funding from the Fundación Toyota Environmental Grants program, announced during the 18th edition of the automaker’s initiative.

This year’s grantees are: the Yauco Center for Sustainable Microbusinesses and Agricultural Technologies (CMTAS, for its Spanish acronym); the Accredited Urban High School in Aguas Buenas; Madre Tierra Atabey Corp.; Nuestra Escuela Inc.; Protectores de Cuencas Inc.; the Marine Environment Society (SAM, for its Spanish acronym); and the Northeast Sea Turtle Program of the University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla campus.

“We are aware of the delicate state of the environment as well as the effects of climate change,” said Saskia Gómez, public relations executive at Toyota de Puerto Rico Corp.

“This is why we see ourselves as a company that is dedicated to the development of responsible transportation solutions that foster a harmonious coexistence between man and automotive technologies,” she said.

“This grant program, which allows us to work directly with the community, is a reflection of a commitment that complements our efforts in the development of ‘green’ technologies, such as hybrid, electric, hydrogen and other low-emission systems,” Gómez said.

The Toyota and Lexus brands combined feature the company’s “most complete line of hybrid vehicles,” she said, including those with alternative fuel sources such as the plug-in electric and the recently launched Toyota Mirai, the company’s fuel-cell hydrogen model, and other low-emission vehicles.

The grants help fund proposals that cover a wide range of projects:

CMTAS seeks to develop a community education program for residents of four neighborhoods in Yauco, through workshops aimed at achieving an increase in the rate of the recycling of urban organic waste, as well as obtaining fertilizers for community gardens. The Accredited Urban High School in Aguas Buenas will develop an Urban Rooftop Garden at the school, so that students and the rest of the school community experience, firsthand, what goes into developing and working at an urban garden.

Madre Tierra Atabey will continue its work in the Guayanilla Bay estuary and its watershed systems, with the aim of promoting ecological resilience, helping the communities face climate change, and reducing the risk of natural disaster.

Nuestra Escuela seeks to improve environmental conservation efforts through the development of urban agricultural production systems using recyclable and reusable materials, methods and techniques.

The group Protectores de Cuencas will work to restore the coastal forest at Tamarindo Beach using cost-effective “green” infrastructure techniques.

SAM will promote the rehabilitation of shallow reef zones in the coastal waters of Culebra, in which staghorn corals predominate.

The Northeast Sea Turtle Program at UPR, Aguadilla will monitor the nesting activities and successful hatching of sea turtles in Puerto Rico’s northeast coast.

Since the Fundación Toyota’s establishment in 1997, it has awarded more than $1 million to more than 75 organizations in Puerto Rico and their projects.

“Each grant that we award is an acknowledgement of the important work that these organizations undertake. Fundación Toyota continues to recognize the effort that these entities invest in their projects, so that with their ideas we can contribute to the creation of a better quality of life,” Gómez said.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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