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$33,000 Urban Waters Grant Awarded to Anacostia Mussel Propagation Project

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$33,000 Urban Waters Grant Awarded to Anacostia Mussel Propagation Project  

PHILADELPHIA (August 9, 2018) – Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $33,000 grant to the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) for the Anacostia River Freshwater Mussel Restoration Project.  

The project seeks to enhance the populations of freshwater mussels in wetland habitats of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. This will be one of the first efforts to restore freshwater mussels that will contribute to improved water quality and biodiversity in the Anacostia Watershed. AWS will also educate 500 people including 250 students about the importance of freshwater mussels and engage them in mussel propagation efforts.

“We are honored to receive a Five Star and Urban Waters grant to support mussel restoration in the Anacostia River,” said AWS Director of Development Emily Conrad. “This project will accelerate progress towards achieving a fishable and swimmable river by utilizing mussels to filter 26 million gallons of water, the equivalent of 39 Olympic-size swimming pools per year.”

The AWS grant was among 59 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded, totaling $2.2 million to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have committed an additional $5.2 million in local project support, generating a total conservation impact of more than $7.4 million.

“EPA is pleased to support this project which we hope will lay the groundwork for future mussel restoration efforts,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “We look forward to learning about the feasibility of more suitable habitats for scaling up mussel propagation in the Anacostia River.”

The grant is awarded through the NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program which supports projects that develop community stewardship of natural resources and addresses water quality issues in priority watersheds across the country. Support for the 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is provided by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and major funding by EPA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fedex, Shell Oil Company, Southern Company and BNSF Railway.

“The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program generates measurable results for wildlife and communities across the nation,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 59 grants announced today will help communities improve water quality and support wildlife through a variety of conservation efforts, from the removal of invasive species and planting of native vegetation to the reduction of stormwater runoff and creation of wetlands.”

The 2018 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 250 applications. A full list of 2018 projects is available here.

Since 1999, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program has supported more than 945 projects, with more than $11.9 million in federal funds, $10.6 million in private and corporate contributions, and $74.7 million in matching funds at the local level.

For more information about the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant program, visit