I would ideally like to follow the U.S.’s and Mexico’s binational Silvery Minnow reintroduction efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border. Since 2012-2013 is the last year of the study conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service with partners at the Chihuahua Desert Research Institute and other partners, I would like to establish a base-camp in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua MX. This would put me at one end of the reintroduction zone, and the other end at Ojinaga, Chihuahua, MX is accessible via highway. Having both of these cities not too far from one another is extremely helpful, and Ciudad Juárez is a populous place with access to internet and proximity to the U.S. Ojinaga is located across the Río Grande from Presidio, TX, allowing for travel between the U.S. and Mexico.
I would also like to report on the disposal of hazardous waste in Mexico City. Home to over 24 million people, the city only has three dumps, and one of them was recently shut down without a replacement set up by the government. I would like to travel to Mexico City, again for 6 months, and report on how the government handles toxic waste and other hazardous materials. With groundwater and soil pollution on the rise, and the growing number of city-dumps, I would like to make a base camp in Mexico City and report on conditions in the surrounding area.
The same budget would be applicable to Mexico City, with an addition of about $1,000 because of the increased cost of living in the capital.
Ideally I would like to travel down to Chihuahua for three months, and to do that I would need about $5,000.
That budget includes: Travel to Ciudad Juarez: Missoula-Ciudad Juarez via car: $500 (round trip)
Travel between Ciudad Juárez and Ojinaga (minimal trips): ≈$200
Hotel: $1000 (for 3 months) Hotel Omare-cash only-$9.22 U.S./day
Taxi/Bus fees: ≈$400
New Phone/Phone Plan: ≈$250
Fees/Gas Associated with going into the field with reintroduction team: ≈$700
New Camera and Audio Equipment: ≈$450
The Pulitzer Center offers a grant, up to $20,000, for reporting on under-reported issues and I think that this would be a viable option for the Mexico City hazardous waste story.
The Society for Environmental Journalism (SEJ) offers a $3,500 grant for reporting on environmental issues through their Fund for Environmental Journalism. I think this is a viable option for both of my stories, and I meet the qualifications for the grant. In addition to Kickstarter, this could work.
The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) offers a grant for investigative reporting regarding government accountability and environmental issues. I think that the Chihuahua story may qualify, but I think that it would go better with the Mexico City story. Grants average at $5,000, but can go as high as $10,000.