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EPA works with Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to Revitalize Urban Waters in New Orleans

Release Date: 07/17/2014
Contact Information: Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

DALLAS – (July 17, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $60,000 to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to accelerate the outgoing revitalization of New Orleans’ south shore lake front to help protect and restore the waters. The project will also improve water quality, support community revitalization and other local priorities.

“Restoration of Lake Pontchartrain and its waterways will improve public health, provide additional recreational opportunities and boost the local economy,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “Work by grant awardees and partner state agencies makes certain the lake continues to benefit our communities for many years to come.”

EPA is awarding $2.08 million to 36 organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico, ranging from $40,000 to $60,000. The projects are in areas that align with the 18 designated Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership includes 14 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and community-led revitalization efforts.

“Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation is ecstatic that we can further enhance New Orleans’ legendary lakefront,” said Executive Director, Dr. John Lopez. “The reconstruction of the New Canal Lighthouse complements the establishment of our new Pontchartrain Beach Office.”

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) was established in response to environmental concerns voiced throughout the Basin. As the public’s independent voice, LPBF is dedicated to restoring and preserving the water quality, coast, and habitats of the entire Pontchartrain Basin. Through coordination of restoration activities, education, advocacy, monitoring of the regulatory process, applied scientific research, and citizen action, LPBF works in partnership with all segments of the community to reclaim the Basin for this and future generations. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin is a 10,000 square mile watershed encompassing 16 Louisiana parishes.

The funding, provided through EPA’s Urban Waters program, supports communities in their efforts to access and improve urban waters. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas. The program will allow communities to benefit from increased access to natural areas.

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 grow local businesses and enhance economic, educational, recreational and social opportunities in nearby communities. By reconnecting communities to their local urban waters, EPA will help communities actively participate in restoring urban waters while improving their neighborhoods.

Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program:
http://www2.epa.gov/urbanwaters

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On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eparegion6
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6
Activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.htm


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