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EPA Provides Grants to Newark, New Jersey Community Group to Educate People about the Passaic River's History and Ecosystem; Ironbound Community Corporation to Receive $60,000

Release Date: 06/29/2012
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

      (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing a $60,000 grant to the Ironbound Community Corporation, a community organization in the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey, to educate the community about the history and ecology of the Passaic River and what can be done to protect it. The funding is part of the EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports community efforts to restore and revitalize local canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and ocean areas and provide access to them. The Ironbound Community Corporation is the largest comprehensive social service provider in the area.

      "Urban waterways like the Passaic River have been battered by toxic and sewage pollution for too long," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "By providing these grants, the EPA is supporting efforts to educate the public about the history of the Passaic River and the need to work together to clean it up.”

      The Ironbound Community Corporation will offer a series of river tours and “walkshops” to introduce Newark residents to the Passaic River’s history and ecosystem. The programs will include a series of walks along the river’s edge to celebrate the river and educate participants about what they can do to improve the river. The Ironbound Community Corporation will also produce a Back to the River brochure and map depicting the history and current state of the Lower Passaic River.

      Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help local businesses grow and enhance educational, recreational, employment and economic opportunities in nearby communities. By promoting public access to urban waterways, the EPA is helping communities become active participants in restoration and protection.

      Through the Urban Waters program, the EPA is awarding grants ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 to 46 organizations throughout the nation. The projects selected for the funding will promote the restoration of urban waters through community engagement and outreach, water quality monitoring and studies, and environmental education and training. To view a list of the grant recipients, visit: http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/funding.