The Port of Long Beach announced the award of $5 million in grants to fund 10 projects to improve the lung and heart health of people who live closest to the port. The funds will pay for projects that will educate families on asthma care, screen at-risk populations for respiratory illness and build a cardiovascular disease diagnosis laboratory. Recipients include local hospitals, clinics, health groups and health agencies.
“These grants will go to health programs that directly help the people most affected by air pollution from the goods movement industry,” says Nick Sramek, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners president. “We continue to work to reduce air pollution at the source, but these grants help us address the overall effects of the port’s presence.”
Grants include health outreach projects to inform people – especially the most sensitive – about care and prevention of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Other projects involve mobile units to bring health outreach and screening programs directly to the communities closest to the port, and air filters for a children’s hospital. With input from a five-member advisory committee representing the community, industry and a regulatory agency, Port of Long Beach staff made recommendations to the Long Beach Board of Harbor
Commissioners which approved the following grants:
• St. Mary Medical Center: $834,791;
• The Children’s Clinic: $825,727;
• City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services: $798,622;
• Long Beach Comprehensive Health Center: $661,318;
• Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America- California Chapter & Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA Breathmobile: $580,000;
• Long Beach Alliance for Children with Asthma: $489,200;
• BREATHE California of Los Angeles County: $355,874;
• Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach: $287,549;
• Cambodian Association of America: $120,000; and
• Westside Neighborhood Clinic: $46,919.
The health-care grants are the second round of “Port Mitigation Grant Programs,” which were created in 2009 to address the effects of air pollution from port development projects on the community and to reduce greenhouse gases. Last year, the port named the recipients of $4.7 million in grants for schools and related facilities such as daycare centers.
According to the port, studies have shown that its recent “green” initiatives steadily are reducing diesel particulates and other emissions from cargo operations thanks to cleaner trucks, trains, ships and other machinery. Meanwhile, the grant programs were established to address cumulative effects of port development projects. Later this year, the port expects to announce the opening of the application period for the greenhouse gas reduction grant program.