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EPA New England Topics

Urban Rivers

EPA New England has a history of focused urban waters work. As part of our support for urban river restoration, EPA New England annually donates water monitoring equipment through long-term loans to community groups throughout the region. Groups receiving this equipment agree to monitor their waters and share their data with EPA. For more information about this program, please contact Diane Switzer at switzer.diane@epa.gov.

We have also hosted a series of conferences and workshops focused on stormwater and illicit connections, water quality, sediments, public access, restoration, land conservation, and success stories. In addition, we are directly invested in our region's urban watersheds and have been focused on several watersheds throughout the region. Through this work, we remain in touch with the agency's focus on healthy watersheds.

See below for some of the important work being done right here in New England!

EPA New England

Mystic River Watershed Initiative
Learn more about EPA's efforts to work with stakeholders to restore and protect water quality and increase open space and public access in the Mystic River Watershed.

Charles River Watershed Initiative
Find out how EPA continues its work to clean up Boston's Charles River.

Stormwater and Permitting in New England
Learn how EPA works to reduce stormwater sources by issuing stormwater permits in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, promoting low impact development, and providing stormwater resources and guides.

Soak Up the Rain
An EPA New England campaign to raise awareness about the problem of stormwater and encourage citizen action to help reduce the polluted runoff that flows to our streams, lakes, rivers and coastlines.

Urban Environmental Program
This program seeks to provide assistance to communities to identify and prioritize environmental and public health problems, develop and implement strategies to restore and revitalize neighborhoods for urban residents, develop partnerships to build community-based capacity and infrastructure to assess, manage and resolve environmental challenges, as well as achieve measurable and sustainable improvements in urban communities that do not compromise environmental quality and public health.

Urban Waters Small Grants
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 educational, economic, recreational, employment and social opportunities in nearby communities. The EPA has awarded $2.7 million to 46 organizations in 32 states and Puerto Rico to help restore urban waters, support community revitalization and protect Americans’ health. By awarding these small grants to restore urban waterways, EPA will help communities become active participants in restoring urban waters while improving and protecting their neighborhoods. Four separate grantees in Region 1 were selected to receive a total of $237,000 of Urban Waters Small Grants funding in order to contribute to the restoration of urban rivers. These award winners are listed below along with pictures from the press events.

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Curt Spalding (EPA- Region 1), Nancy Stoner (EPA - Headquarters), Heather McMann (Groundwork Lawrence), and Brian Martin (District Director, Congresswoman Tsongas) pose with check to Groundwork Lawrence for $60,000.
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Angela Vincent says a few words on behalf of NMCOG before receiving $60,000.

The Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (Lowell, MA) received $60,000 to develop stormwater education within all the communities, neighborhoods and populations in the Merrimack River region and elsewhere in the Commonwealth. Partners on this project include: Merrimack River Watershed Council, Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, the City of Lowell, Southeast Asia Environmental Justice Partners, the Coalition for Better Acre, Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, Lowell Park and Conservation Trust, the SuAsCo Watershed Community Council, the Nashua River Watershed Association, and the Clean River Project.

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Curt Spalding (EPA- Region 1), Nancy Stoner (EPA - Headquarters), Heather McMann (Groundwork Lawrence), and Brian Martin (District Director, Congresswoman Tsongas) pose with check to NMCOG for $60,000.
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Heather McMann says a few words on behalf of Groundwork Lawrence shortly before receiving $60,000.

Groundwork Lawrence (Lawrence, MA) received $60,000 to develop the Spicket River Restoration Partnership which will engage the community through citizen volunteers for water quality testing to establish a water quality baseline and to further characterize the environmental condition of the river. This program will assist in identifying stream channel issues and harmful contamination threats such as stormwater infrastructure and combined sewer overflows. Partners on this project include: the Merrimack River Watershed Council, the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Horsley-Witten Group, the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration, and the City of Lawrence’s Department of Public Works.

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Amelia Rose (EJLRI),Representative David Cicilline, Senator Jack Reed, and Representative Jim Langevin pose with the check for $60,000 to the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island.
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Amelia Rose from EJLRI says a few words regarding the work that will be done in Providence's urban ponds.

The Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island (Providence, RI) received $60,000 to initiate a community-driven restoration of Providence’s urban ponds based on educating school children, organize residents, work with business owners to adopt treatment options, and survey neighborhoods and develop examples of stormwater treatment options. Project partners include: Groundwork Providence, Urban Pond Procession, Brown University, URI Watershed Watch, and RIDEM's Office of Water Resources

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Curt Spalding (EPA - Region 1), Senator Jack Reed, Representative David Cicilline, Richard Ribb (Narragansett Bay Estuary Program), and Representative Jim Langevin pose with a check for $57,000.
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Richard Ribb from the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program talks on behalf of the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association and other partners participating on their Urban Waters Small Grants fish monitoring project.

The Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association (Providence, RI) received $57,000 to launch a fish community monitoring program for several impaired urban water bodies including the Woonasquatucket, Moshassuck, and Blackstone Rivers. Partners on this project include: the Blackstone River Coalition, the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, Friends of the Moshassuck, the Taunton River Watershed Alliance, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, University of Rhode Island (URI) Watershed Watch, the URI Coastal Institute and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

For more information on these regional projects and national award winners »

EPA National

Urban Waters


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