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EPA Awards Nearly $1 Million to Protect Virginia's Wetlands and Aquatic Ecosystems

Release Date: 10/02/2012
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (Oct. 2, 2012) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is awarding a $999,640 Wetlands Program Development Grant to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).

VIMS provide critical services by conducting research and sound scientific advice concerning wetland resources to the Commonwealth. In collaboration with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, VIMS will work with state and local governments and federal agencies to develop strategies that will further reduce the loss of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems in Virginia.

“Through this grant, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will work to reduce wetland loss in Virginia which will help the state's economy as well as its environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Wetlands play a powerful role in our environment. They are often called nature's kidney for their ability to remove excess nutrients, toxic substances, and sediment from water that flows through them, helping to improve downstream water quality.”

Virginia continues to lose wetlands through both permitted activities and natural processes. This project's goal is to incorporate best available science into wetland resource management and ensure that decision-makers at all regulatory levels understand the importance of wetlands to healthy, functioning watersheds and particularly their importance in water quality.

Since 1990, EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants have provided financial assistance to help build or refine State and local governments’ wetland programs. These funds provide important opportunities for states to conduct research and help build the science behind comprehensive wetland programs at the state level.

For more information, go to: http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/wetlands/grantguidelines/index.cfm.