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EPA Awards over $179,000 to Promote Proctor Creek Restoration

Release Date: 07/17/2014
Contact Information: Dawn Harris Young, (404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main), harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

ATLANTA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it is awarding over $179,000 to three organizations for the restoration of the Proctor Creek Watershed in Atlanta, Ga. Nationally, $2.1 million was awarded to 36 organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico to help protect and restore urban waters, improve water quality, and support community revitalization and other local priorities.

The awardees, receiving approximately $60,000 each, are:

Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.
The Center for Watershed Protection, Inc., will provide a replicable blueprint for pollutant load reduction crediting by developing a cost-effective approach to clean urban waters that integrates community-based water monitoring. A stakeholder group will be convened to vet the approach, which is expected to provide significant and quantifiable pollutant reduction to the Proctor Creek watershed in Atlanta. The project team includes the City of Atlanta, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Inc.
Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Inc., (CRK) will work with a wide range of partners to engage Proctor Creek Watershed residents to achieve measureable water quality improvements within Proctor Creek and its watershed. CRK will expand its Neighborhood Water Watch Program, in which the community will take an active role in identifying and resolving major pollution problems in the Proctor Creek Watershed. CRK also will implement a water quality education and community organizing initiative where citizens will collect water samples from dozens of locations throughout the watershed and conduct assessments of the collection sites. The sampling data will be summarized and mapped; participants will be taught how to interpret results.

Environmental Community Action, Inc.
Environmental Community Action, Inc.’s Green Infrastructure Initiative will create a comprehensive “Vision for Action” to reduce flooding and improve water quality in Proctor Creek while revitalizing adjacent low-income neighborhoods. This initiative focuses on the higher-elevation Atlanta University Center (AUC) campuses, which are the sources of much of the contaminated runoff. The project will bring academics together with leaders of underserved communities to better understand the extent and impact of sewage and stormwater flows from the higher-elevation Atlanta University Center campuses on the downstream residential communities.

The funding is through EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas.

EPA is awarding grants ranging from $40,000 to $60,000 for projects taking place in areas that align with the 18 designated Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is a partnership of 14 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts. All funded projects work to advance environmental justice in their communities, and focus on one of the following three categories: community greening and green infrastructure, communities and water quality data, or integration of water quality and community development in planning.

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 to actively participate in restoring urban waters while improving their neighborhoods.

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

Information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership: http://www.urbanwaters.gov/

To view a list of the selected projects that will be funded, visit http://www2.epa.gov/urbanwaters/urban-waters-small-grants.

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