The deadline is looming for community groups, schools and health organizations that may be interested in applying for nearly $3 million worth of grants to help improve neighborhoods affected by operations at the Port of Long Beach.

Applicants will have until 4 p.m. on Tuesday to apply for the port's Mitigation Grant Program for the Schools and Related Sites and Health Care and Senior Facilities categories.

Launched in 2009, the program is funded through major port projects such as the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement and the Middle Harbor redevelopment, which connects two aging terminals into one large terminal.

So far, more than $5.4 million in greenhouse gas mitigation grants, $5 million in health and senior-related projects and $4.7 million for schools have been awarded by the port since 2011, and more than 280,000 people have benefited through the grant program, port officials said.

Projects have included a new Heart Station cardiopulmonary lab at the Long Beach Comprehensive Health Center, air filters, electric vehicles and solar energy roof panels for St. Anthony High School, and St. Mary Medical Center's Breathe Easy Mobile Care Clinic, which travels to various area locations offering free respiratory and/or cardiopulmonary tests and screenings.


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Schools, community organizations, businesses and individuals can apply for the grants to fund health programs or projects, which can now include relocating playgrounds away from pollution and helping pregnant women because of a recent approval change by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Other changes made by the board to the parameters of the program include: Eliminating the three-year time limit for health care programs; making sound walls and other noise-dampening projects as stand-alone projects (previously these projects had to have an air-pollution lessening element); and including the latest air filtration technology.

For more information, visit polb.com/environment/grants.