News Releases from Region 04
EPA, Southern Co. and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Recognize Five Star and Urban Waters Projects in the Southeast
ATLANTA - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Southern Company met with 2013 Five Star and Urban Waters Program awardees to recognize and highlight their work to restore streams and watersheds.
"Watershed and stream restoration projects play a significant role in improving public health, providing additional recreational opportunities and boosting local economies," said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney. "Work by grant awardees is essential to protecting and restoring these valuable resources and keeping our lakes, rivers and streams clean."
"Southern Company's support of the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program reflects our long-standing commitment to protecting and preserving our natural resources," said Southern Company Chief Environmental Officer Larry S. Monroe. "We are proud to partner in restoring these important ecosystems for the benefit of local wildlife and the communities we serve."
The following projects were recognized:
Turkey Creek Vermilion Darter Restoration and Education, Pinson, Ala.
Persimmon Branch Wetlands Enhancement, Troy, Ala.
Oyster Restoration in Coastal Alabama, Mobile County, Ala.
Eden Gardens State Park Estuarine Shoreline Restoration, Walton County, Fla.
Urban Atlanta Wetland Restoration and Rare Species Recovery, Metro Atlanta, Ga.
Clear Creek Watershed Restoration, Atlanta, Ga.
Stockade Creek and Riparian Zone Restoration, Atlanta, Ga.
Mill Creek Plunge Pool Restoration, Atlanta, Ga.
Turkey Creek Greenway/Blueway, Gulfport, Miss.
Creating a Living Laboratory in Pascagoula Marshland, Pascagoula, Miss.
The Five Star and Urban Waters Program develops and supports community stewardship of local natural resources in cities and towns across America. The program funds projects that will preserve these resources for future generations while at the same time enhancing habitat for local wildlife. Projects seek to address water quality issues in priority watersheds, such as erosion due to unstable stream banks, pollution from stormwater runoff, and degraded shorelines caused by development.
The program focuses on stewardship and restoration of coastal, wetland and riparian ecosystems across the country. Its goal is to meet the conservation needs of important species and habitats, while providing measurable and meaningful conservation and educational outcomes. The program requires the establishment and/or enhancement of diverse partnerships and an education/outreach component that will help shape and sustain behavior to achieve conservation goals.
Funding priorities for this program include:
On-the-ground wetland, riparian, in-stream and/or coastal habitat restoration
Meaningful education and training activities, either through community outreach, participation and/or integration with K-12 environmental curriculum
Measurable ecological, educational and community benefits
Partnerships: Five Star and Urban Waters projects should engage a diverse group of community partners to achieve ecological and educational outcomes.
To date, the program has funded more than 700 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than $13.3 million in grants has leveraged more than $56 million in other funds or donated services.
The Five Star and Urban Waters Program is a partnership among the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the National Association of Counties (NACo), the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), USDA Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Southern Company, FedEx, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Alcoa Foundation, and Bank of America.
Information on the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program: http://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Pages/home.aspx
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