Twelve coalitions in as many states are finalists in the competition to apply for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants totaling $9 million to help protect and restore some of the nation's key watersheds. These coalitions will join 34 others that have been selected over the past two years to share nearly $39 million in grants.
EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles made the announcement today on the bank of Lake Pontchartrain near the Tangipahoa River in Louisiana, one of the 12 watersheds. "This seed money grows partnerships for healthy watersheds and sustainable infrastructure," he said. "These grass-roots projects advance cooperative conservation and environmental innovation across America."
The coalitions selected have been recognized for setting clear goals and comprehensive watershed plans. Projects include stream stabilization, culvert replacement, and habitat enhancement activities. Funds also will support agricultural management practices in rural areas and storm water management practices in urban areas. Many of the projects this year will benefit spawning fish species and natural fisheries.
The Targeted Watersheds Grant Program fosters community-based initiatives to help protect, preserve, and restore local or regional watersheds. The goal of the program is to build on the successes of partners who have completed all of the watershed assessments and are ready to carry out their plans. Today's selections encompass watersheds from coast to coast:
- Cheat River, W.Va.
- Huff Run, Ohio
- Lake Hopatcong, N.J.
- Little River, Tenn.
- Presumpscot River/Casco Bay, Maine
- Skagit River, Wash.
- Tangipahoa River, La.
- Trinity River/Lower Klamath River, Calif.
- Tuttle Creek Lake, Neb. and Kan.
- Upper Sevier River, Utah
- Vermillion River, Minn.
- Willamette River, Ore.
More information about this year's selections or about the Targeted Watershed Grant program is at: http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/initiative .