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Audubon Arkansas has been selected to receive a $1.3 million grant through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) competitive Targeted Watershed Grants program to protect, preserve and restore the Fourche Creek watershed. The Targeted Watershed Grants program builds on strong public/private partnerships that create and improve networks for watershed protection.
Located in central Arkansas, the 170-square-mile Fourche Creek watershed drains and filters more than 99 percent of the Little Rock metropolitan area. Audubon Arkansas expects to achieve a five- percent reduction in sediment and nutrients, more sustainable methods for municipal operations and maintenance, a 20 percent reduction of floatable trash and an outreach campaign to reach at least 500,000 people in the watershed. Funds will also be used to revitalize wetland function through reforestation as well as stream bank and wetland restoration.
Nominees were required to set clearly articulated goals and objectives aimed at cleaner water. Watershed plans and project proposals were judged on criteria such as innovation, environmental results, broad support, outreach and financial integrity. EPA received 115 grant nominations, of which 15 were selected to receive funding totaling $14,166,000.