EPA Provides $3.7 M to Improve Gulf of Mexico

A total of $3.7 million is available to help selected organizations reduce pollutants that contribute to the oxygen-depleted zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The 10 finalists will support agricultural conservation measures, restore wetlands and riverbanks, monitor water quality, and create a variety of innovative, market-based programs to improve water quality, according to a Dec. 12 press release.

"This seed money will grow innovative, cost-effective solutions to speed up the cleanup of impaired watersheds in the Mississippi River Watershed and cut the size of the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA’s assistant administrator for water.

These projects under EPA’s Targeted Watersheds Grants Program will reduce the sources of pollutants, including runoff from developed land, soil erosion, agricultural fertilizers, and sewage and industrial discharges. Parts or all of 31 states drain into the watershed that flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

The organizations are:

  • Conservation Technology and Information Center (West Lafayette, Ind.) for the Wabash River Watershed
  • Electric Power Research Institute (Palo Alto, Calif.) for the Ohio River Basin
  • Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa) for the Raccoon River Watershed, Walnut Creek Watershed, and Boone River Watershed
  • The Miami Conservancy District (Dayton, Ohio) for the Great Miami River Watershed
  • The Nature Conservancy (Nashville, Tenn.) for the Lower Hatchie River Watershed, Loosahatchie River Watershed, and Wolf River Watershed
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) for the Upper Scioto Watershed
  • The Wetlands Initiative (Chicago) for the Lower Illinois River-Lake Senachwine Watershed
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) for the Green River Watershed and Kentucky River Watershed
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown, W. Va.) for the Kanawha River Watershed
  • World Resource Institute (Washington, D.C.) for the Ohio River Basin, Upper Mississippi River Basin and Lower Mississippi River Basin

For more information on the grant program, go to http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/trading/twg/