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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Provides Funding to Protect and Restore Urban Waters

NY/NJ Baykeeper and Sarah Lawrence College to Receive More Than $100,000 to Improve Water Quality in the Lower Hudson and the Passaic Rivers

Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (rodriguez.elias@epa.gov)

(New York, N.Y. – Oct. 11, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing grants to two organizations to help protect and restore urban waters in New Jersey and New York. NY/NJ Baykeeper will receive a $48,150 grant to expand its plastic pollution reduction project and Sarah Lawrence College will receive a $60,000 grant to investigate local sources of water pollution in the lower Hudson River region.

"Plastic pollution threatens most of our urbans waterways and NY/NJ Baykeeper will take steps to reduce that threat in the already beleaguered Passaic River,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "The research to be conducted in the lower Hudson River by Sarah Lawrence students will provide new information on local sources of pollution that threaten the Hudson River.”

Urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, plastic, runoff from city streets, and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can enhance economic, educational, recreational, and social opportunities in surrounding communities.

NY/NJ Baykeeper will identify, reduce, and prevent plastic transported by stormwater from reaching the lower Passaic River watershed and Newark Bay. Baykeeper will work with the Ironbound Community Corporation to select student interns to assist in sample collection and laboratory analysis, and to produce short videos to educate communities about the impacts of plastic pollution in the Passaic River and Newark Bay.

Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak in Yonkers, New York will work with Riverkeeper, the Bronx River Alliance, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and community watershed groups to improve water quality and increase community engagement in urban communities in the lower Hudson River valley. Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak will work with citizen scientists to investigate the severity and local sources of water pollution, while increasing community engagement and stewardship in Sparkill Creek and the Bronx River, the Saw Mill River, and the Pocantico River watersheds.

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 urban waters program is to fund research, investigations, experiments, training, surveys, studies and demonstrations that advance the restoration of urban watersheds, emphasizing underserved communities.

The Urban Waters Small Grants are competed and awarded every two years. Since its inception in 2012, the program has awarded approximately $6.6 million in Urban Waters Small Grants to 114 organizations across the country, with individual award amounts of up to $60,000.

To learn more about the funded projects, visit https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/urban-waters-small-grants

Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program: https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters

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