The U.S. EPA plans to award up to $19 million in grants to help clean up and restore the nation’s waterways. Proposals must reach EPA by Oct. 16, 2006, for capacity-building grants and Nov. 15, 2006, for project-implementation grants. Capacity-building grants provide for education and training, whereas implementation grants involve actions such as protection and preservation.
“President Bush understands that citizen-centered programs foster innovation while accelerating restoration of watersheds through cooperative conservation and grass-roots partnerships,” said Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles.
State governors and tribal leaders nominate potential recipients for implementation grants. EPA will evaluate and rank submissions based on criteria outlined in each notice. Watershed organizations receive the awards based on how likely they are to achieve environmental results in a relatively short time. Selection of the grantees will be announced in the fall.
Under the Targeted Watersheds Grant Program, EPA has awarded nearly $40 million to 46 watershed organizations since 2003. In excess of $2 million has gone to five watershed capacity-building organizations to further the activities of more than 3,000 local watershed groups. For this grant cycle, the focus will be on supporting community-based approaches and strengthening local capacity to protect and clean up water resources.
Watersheds currently in the program cover more than 142,000 sq miles of the nation’s landscape draining into lakes, rivers and streams.
The EPA’s 2005 Targeted Watersheds Grant Annual Report provides examples of how grant funding helps watershed partnerships advance the goals of the Clean Water Act through sound watershed plans. Comprised of informative fact sheets and colorful maps, the report highlights 34 community efforts to reach measurable clean-water goals. The report also includes summaries of grantees focused on capacity-building efforts.