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News Releases from Region 04

EPA, Southern Co. and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Recognize Five Star and Urban Waters Projects in the Southeast

Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (mcdonald.jason@epa.gov)
Dawn Harris Young EPA (harris-young.dawn@epa.gov)
404-562-8421, 404-562-8400

(01/19/16 - ATLANTA) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Southern Company met with 2014 Five Star and Urban Waters Program awardees to recognize and highlight their work to restore streams and watersheds.

"EPA's Five Star Restoration Grant Program promotes the revitalization and protection of our watersheds, lakes and streams," said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney. Funds provided for these community-based projects improve environmental awareness and sustainability where residents work and play.

"Southern Company's support of the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program reflects our longstanding commitment to protecting and preserving our natural resources," said Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power Central Region Vice President Ron Shipman. "We are proud to join our partners and recognize the progress made in these ecosystems for the benefit of local wildlife and the communities we serve."

The following projects were recognized:

Mill Creek Urban Watershed Project, Phenix City, Ala.
Genetta Watershed Restoration and Community Education, Montgomery, Ala.
Village Creek Brownfield Cleanup and Restoration, Birmingham, Ala.

Coastal Dune Lakes Monitoring and Restoration, Walton County, Fla.

Cay Creek Native Wetland Plants and Pollinator Garden: A Coastal Model, Midway, Ga.
Living Shoreline - Tybee Island, Tybee Island, Ga.
Rivercane Restoration Initiative, Atlanta, Ga.
South Fork Peachtree Creek and Veterans Hospital Restoration, Atlanta Ga.

I.G. Levy Park Urban Forest Restoration, 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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And on Twitter: @EPASoutheast