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EPA Grant to Spur Restoration Efforts in New York’s Saw Mill River Watershed

Release Date: 12/02/2008
Contact Information: John Senn, (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(Yonkers, N.Y.) Watersheds are vital to the prosperity of every community because they provide a pathway for the natural filtration and cleansing of water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) helps protect and restore our nation’s watersheds through annual grants to organizations working to improve their local watersheds. This year, EPA has awarded one of these grants, for $889,183, to Groundwork Yonkers to help restore the Saw Mill River watershed, which covers some 26.5 square miles just north of New York City.

“EPA’s targeted watershed grants exemplify how federal dollars can be used by local experts to achieve demonstrable results,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Helping revitalize the Saw Mill River watershed will not only benefit the surrounding communities, it will contribute to the larger effort of protecting and preserving our nation’s watersheds.”

"The Saw Mill River flows through and under residential and industrial areas in the heart of Westchester County," said Congresswoman Nita Lowey. "This project will restore and protect the river so we can enjoy it now and in the future. I am pleased that EPA has recognized this need."

The grant will fund projects to restore the flow of the river, revitalize sections of the river corridor, reduce fecal coliform and trash polluting the river, review park designs and improve mapping of the river.

The Saw Mill River originates in Chappaqua, N.Y., some 35 miles north of New York City, flows through residential and industrial settings and then flows underground for about a mile before it empties into the Hudson River in Yonkers, N.Y.

Established in 2003, EPA’s targeted watersheds grant program is designed to encourage successful community-based approaches and management techniques to protect and restore the nation's watersheds. The program supports collaborative watershed partnerships that are ready to implement on-the-ground restoration and protection activities designed to achieve quick, measurable environmental results. To date, 61 organizations have been awarded grants like the one given to Groundwork Yonkers. Earlier this year, Groundwork Yonkers received a $78,235 grant from the New York-New Jersey Estuary Program, which is chaired by EPA, for restoration work on the Saw Mill River.

For more information on EPA’s targeted watershed grants and a complete list of the awardees, visit http://www.epa.gov/twg/implementation.html. For a Google Earth aerial view of the Saw Mill River watershed, go to http://www.epa.gov/region2/kml/saw_mill_river_basin.kmz. You must have Google Earth installed on your computer to view the map. To download Google Earth, visit http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html ). For more information on Groundwork Yonkers, visit http://www.groundworkyonkers.org/ .

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