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Charlie Crist: EPA Sending $500,000 to Eckerd College

This week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., who sits on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will send
$499,638 to Eckerd College for their work “to reduce ocean pollution resulting from single-use plastics.”

The money comes from EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program and will allow Eckerd “to create a mobile application that will help Pinellas County residents digitally track their single-use plastic consumption with the goal of keeping waste out of the Gulf of Mexico.”

“The students and faculty of Eckerd College have dedicated themselves to ending the scourge of plastic pollution in our community,” said Crist. “With this new federal investment, the great minds at Eckerd will soon be able to deliver the tools Pinellas residents need to cut out single-use plastics and protect our beautiful environment and marine life – right in the palms of our hands!”

“The goal of the grant is to create an app that is going to spark consumer interest in reducing plastic waste on their own,” says Shannon Gowans, a professor of marine science and biology at Eckerd College. “The backside of this project, the consumption data we’ll collect, is going to be tremendously helpful to local/state governments and NGOs to use and understand if current policies are working well such as straw bans and plastic bag bans.”

Crist won three statewide elections as a Republican, including being elected attorney general in 2002 and governor in 2006. In 2010, he ran for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation but lost to Republican Marco Rubio. After joining the Democrats at the end of 2012, Crist ran again for governor but lost to Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Crist bounced back to defeat U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., to win a congressional seat representing parts of the Tampa Bay area. Crist is now running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Ron DeSantis in November.


  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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