EPA Provides Grants to Educate People About Efforts to Restore Urban Rivers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing grants to three community organizations in New York State to help restore urban waters, support community revitalization efforts and protect the health of people living near these waterways. The grants will be awarded to the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Groundwork Hudson Valley and Rocking the Boat, which will focus on the Bronx River. The funding is part of the EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports community efforts to restore and revitalize local canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and ocean areas and provide access to them.

"Urban waterways have been battered by decades of pollution," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "EPA is working hard to improve water quality in urban waterways across the country and some are just beginning to recover. Urban waters can be tremendous community assets and these grants will help communities get involved in protecting these water resources.”

The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater will receive $59,855 to teach youth in the Fall Kill Watershed about watershed science and green infrastructure, and help them design signs to educate and inspire their communities. The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is an organization that works to preserve and protect the Hudson River and its tributaries, as well as the communities of the Hudson River Valley.

Clearwater will provide technical guidance to about 100 local landowners on how to prevent their properties from contributing to water pollution. The organization will also consult with 20 homeowners about green infrastructure designs for their properties and implement the projects on 10 of them.

Groundwork Hudson Valley will be provided $51,401 to conduct a series of community meetings, planning and training sessions and workshops in Westchester County, New York to educate people living near the Saw Mill River community about water quality and green infrastructure. Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental justice non-profit organization that works with communities to improve their physical and social environment. The organization will also conduct outreach to neighborhood residents and businesses, and conduct educational sessions with local students.

Rocking the Boat will receive $60,000 to work with local students and others in hands-on restoration, monitoring, and educational activities both on and around the Bronx River. Rocking the Boat is a community organization that uses boats to inspire young people challenged by economic, educational, and social disadvantages.

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help local businesses grow and enhance educational, recreational, employment and economic opportunities in nearby communities. By promoting public access to urban waterways, the EPA is helping communities become active participants in restoration and protection.

Through the Urban Waters program, the EPA is awarding grants ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 to 46 organizations throughout the nation. The projects selected for the funding will promote the restoration of urban waters through community engagement and outreach, water quality monitoring and studies, and environmental education and training. To view a list of the grant recipients, visit http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/funding.


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