An official website of the United States government.

News Releases from Region 03

EPA Awards $660,000 to West Virginia University for Assessing Wetlands and Developing Wetlands Water Quality Standards for West Virginia

Contact Information: 
David Sternberg (

PHILADELPHIA (October 31, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has awarded $659,541 to West Virginia University (WVU) to develop wetlands water quality regulatory guidance for the state of West Virginia.

“The data this project will generate is important to understanding, protecting and restoring wetlands in the state of West Virginia,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Supporting standards with solid scientific data is essential to effective wetlands protection.”

“Identifying wetland water quality conditions across West Virginia will advance our understanding of the range of water quality variables and provide us with a more detailed assessment of the extent of wetland pollution,” said Jim Anderson, principal investigator and professor of wildlife and fisheries resources in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “This study will allow our research team to produce and disseminate valuable, novel data and science-based information regarding the chemical, physical, and ecological condition and function of wetlands.”

WVU will use the funds to gather and analyze monitoring data that will provide the basis for the standards. The university also will develop numeric criteria for chemical constituents based on the types and locations of wetlands.

In addition, WVU will communicate its findings via webinars, conferences, and meetings with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Healthy wetlands perform important ecological functions, such as feeding downstream waters, trapping floodwaters, recharging groundwater supplies, removing pollution, and providing habitat for fish and wildlife.

Wetlands Program Development Grants assist state, tribal, local government agencies, state universities and interstate/intertribal entities in building programs that protect, manage, and restore wetlands and aquatic resources. States, tribes, and local governments are encouraged to develop wetlands program plans, which help create a roadmap for achieving long-term environmental goals.

The Clean Water Act recognizes that as water flows downstream it can carry pollutants from upstream sources along with it. Wetlands are instrumental in eliminating or treating pollution, and can have a huge impact on receiving waters located downstream.

For more wetlands information, visit: