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NINE FEDERAL AGENCIES RELEASE WATERSHED SUCCESS STORIES

Release Date: 11/09/2000
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, NOV. 9, 2000

NINE FEDERAL AGENCIES RELEASE WATERSHED SUCCESS STORIES


Efforts to clean up the Nation’s remaining polluted waterways, initiated under the 1997 Clinton-Gore Administration’s Clean Water Action Plan, demonstrate that the watershed approach is working. Today, nine federal agencies released a report highlighting significant accomplishments in local community watershed restoration efforts. Thirty success stories demonstrate how cooperation between federal, state and local partners can lead to innovative restoration solutions addressing a broad spectrum of water quality problems. While many restoration efforts have just started, some projects have already produced striking environmental improvements. For example, one project in Ohio has reduced erosion in the Big Darby Creek by more than 400,000 tons. Restoration efforts in the Illinois River Watershed have enabled the return of fish species not seen in the river since 1908. The Clean Water Action Plan seeks to protect public health and restore polluted waterways by establishing critical action goals and by providing communities and landowners with the tools and resources to attain them. Although the federal government provided the impetus and continues to provide technical and financial support for restoration efforts, a multitude of local stakeholders typically lead these watershed restoration efforts. These stakeholders include private parties, nonprofit organizations and concerned citizens. The watershed approach focuses on point and nonpoint source (runoff) pollution throughout a designated drainage area or watershed to protect waterways, estuaries, wetlands and addresses the local impacts of heavy industry, municipal storm water, agriculture, abandoned mines, and highways. Agencies cooperating along with EPA under the Clean Water Action Plan are the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense and the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Commerce through its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice. Additional information and the report are available at: http://www.cleanwater.gov, click on “What’s New.”

R-171 ###