Contact Us


All News Releases By Date



Release Date: 05/02/2003
Contact Information: Carl Terry, EPA Media Relations (404) 562-8327
To support community-driven initiatives that protect habitat, improve water quality, and enhance outdoor recreation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced nearly $15 million in grants to twenty watersheds nationwide as a part of a new Watershed Initiative. The selection includes a $600,000 grant to the Cumberland River Watershed (TN and KY).

"This funding recognizes the successful community-based approaches and techniques that are essential for restoration, protection and preservation of the Cumberland River watershed," said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Regional Administrator in Atlanta. "In the past 30 years, since the inception of the Clean Water Act, the American public has proven that it can make a difference."

The Cumberland River watershed covers 18,000 miles and is home to almost 2 million people in Tennessee and Kentucky. The Cumberland River Compact has set out to enhance the water quality of the Cumberland River and its tributaries through education and by promoting cooperation among citizens, businesses, and agencies in Kentucky and Tennessee since 1997. The Cumberland River Compact will use funding to conduct sediment and stream bank loss data collection to establish a base line, implement rural and urban Best Management Practices, and institute several site-specific Best Management Practice demonstration projects.

Nationally, the winning watersheds cover more than 90,000 square miles of the nation's lakes, rivers and streams. These watersheds reside in urban and rural areas, encompass agricultural land, and are often threatened by suburban sprawl. Funds will go toward restoration and protection projects, such as stream stabilization and habitat enhancement, implementing agricultural best management practices, and working with local governments and homeowners to promote sustainable practices and strategies.

The grant recipients were selected from 176 nominations that were reviewed by regional and national experts. The selectees were chosen because they demonstrated the best approaches to achieve on-the-ground environmental results in a short time. Each of the watershed organizations exhibited strong partnerships, showed innovation, and demonstrated compatibility with existing governmental programs. The grants range from $300,000 to $1 million.