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Upper Tennessee River Watershed group selected to receive $800,000 EPA grant

Release Date: 5/2/2003
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the Upper Tennessee River Roundtable to receive an $800,000 grant to support efforts to preserve and protect the Upper Tennessee watershed that covers more than 2 million acres in Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.
The Upper Tennessee River group is one of 20 watershed groups nationwide that will receive a total of $15 million in federal funding under a new watershed initiative announced today to support community-driven initiatives that protect habitat, improve water quality, and enhance outdoor recreation.

“This funding recognizes the public and private partnerships which improve the environmental health of the Upper Tennessee River watershed. The continuing dedication of the community partnerships will ensure cleaner water and measurable environmental change,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region

The Upper Tennessee River group will use funding for water quality and restoration projects that include implementing a recycling program, constructing storm water management structures, implementing species protection plans in creeks, and several stream bank and wetland restoration projects.

The Watershed Initiative was conceived to encourage successful community-based approaches to restore, preserve and protect the nation’s watersheds.

The 20 grant recipients were selected from 176 nominations nationwide that were reviewed by regional and national experts. The selectees were chosen because they best demonstrated the ability 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. Grant totals ranged from $300,000 to $1 million.

During last year’s State of the Union address, President George W. Bush asked the nation’s governors and tribal leaders to nominate proposals to support community-based approaches to clean up the nation’s watersheds. This year, Congress appropriated $15 million of the President’s original $20 million dollar funding request.

The 20 selected watersheds include:

• Meduxnekeag River, Maine
• Narragansett Bay, R.I., Mass.
• Charles River, Mass.
• Raritan River, N.J.
• Susquehanna headwaters, N.Y., Pa.
• Christina River, Pa., Del.
• Dunkard Creek, Pa., W.Va.
• Upper Tennessee River, Va., Tenn., N.C.
• Cumberland River, Tenn., Ky.
• Great Miami River, Ohio
• Greater Blue Earth watershed, Minn., Iowa
• Manistee River, Mich.
• Rio Puerco watershed, N.M.
• Bayou Bartholomew, Ark.
• Rathbun Lake, Iowa
• Upper White watershed, Ark., Mo.
• Clark Fork-Pend Oreille, Mont., Idaho, Wash.
• Upper South Platte, Colo.
• Hanalei Bay, Hawaii
• Lower Columbia River, Ore., Wash.