ELIZABETH — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing a $60,000 grant to Groundwork Elizabeth to build a trail within the Elizabeth River Greenway that will improve access to the Elizabeth River.
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 public access to them.
The goal of the program is to fund research, investigations, experiments, training, surveys, studies and demonstrations that advance the restoration of urban watersheds, emphasizing underserved communities.
“Urban waterways like the Elizabeth River have been neglected for too long,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “By providing this grant, the EPA is supporting efforts to connect the public to the Elizabeth River and improve the recreational opportunities in communities.”
Groundwork Elizabeth will continue its effort to develop and complete the Elizabeth River Greenway and renew the communities around it. During the construction of the Phase 1 section of the Elizabeth Greenway, Groundwork Elizabeth worked with the community, especially young people.
Groundwork will build on its experience during Phase I to lead community engagement efforts in the neighborhoods around the Phase II and Phase III sections of the greenway and build momentum for restoring the whole local waterway and the communities around it.
The 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, toxics, 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, the EPA will help communities to actively participate in restoring urban waters while improving their neighborhoods.
To view a list of the grant recipients, visit: http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/funding.
Information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership: http://urbanwaters.gov/.
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