Six finalists are eligible to apply for $3.2 million from EPA's Targeted Watersheds Grants to provide support to watershed organizations throughout the nation. These capacity-building grants will range from $300,000 to $800,000 each. They are awarded to organizations that promote the growth and development of local watershed partnerships through training and technical assistance.
"These targeted grants reflect the administration's commitment to community-based, cooperative conservation and will grow grassroots partnerships for clean and healthy watersheds across America," Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for Water.
This year, two finalists have a national focus, and four will support watershed groups in three regions: the Great Plains, arid West and Appalachia. The nationally focused projects will offer training to up-and-coming watershed organization leaders, create a community of capacity-builders to help the watershed community grow and develop a clearinghouse to provide direct assistance to watershed organizations.
The finalists for national projects are: Center for Watershed Protection and River Network.
The finalists for regionally focused projects are:
- Eastern Coal Regional Roundtable – training in water quality monitoring and fiscal sustainability of grassroots organizations in Appalachian coal country;
- University of North Carolina Chapel Hill – providing practical tools such as model ordinances and public process facilitation to watershed organizations in Appalachia and the Southeast;
- Trees, Water, and People – educating local decision-makers and engaging local citizens in watershed protection projects in the arid West; and
- National Heritage Institute – offering training and technical assistance with market-based approaches to restoring critical flow back to streams in the Sierra Nevada Ecoregion.
Targeted Watersheds Grants encourage protection and restoration of the nation's watersheds. Watershed health is important to providing clean water where Americans live, work and play. Since 2003, more than $40 million has been provided through EPA Targeted Watersheds Grants. This is the second time that capacity building grants have been awarded. Targeted Watersheds implementation grants for local projects will be awarded later this year.