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Philadelphia Water Department Receives $9,000 Grant to Reduce Runoff and Improve Water Quality

Release Date: 9/6/2002
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Water Department has received more than $9,000 to enhance its stream and wetlands restoration efforts in the City. Specifically, the Water Department will use the funds to create a riparian buffer of approximately 1200 feet, the length of four football fields, along the Schuylkill River and attempt to revegetate Peter's Island.

The award is part of the Five-Star Restoration Grant Program, providing community-based partnerships grants to support wetlands and stream side restoration projects.

“Storm water runoff from urban neighborhoods and city streets is a water quality problem in cities across the country. This restoration project will help reduce storm water runoff in Philadelphia into the Schuylkill River,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

Peter's Island, located in the Schuylkill River between the Strawberry Mansion and Spring Garden Street bridges, is approximately 2 acres. It is hoped that successful revegetation of the island will make it inaccessible to geese that are now using the island as breeding grounds. If the majority of geese can be influenced to move farther away from the drinking water intake, water quality for the immediate river environment will be improved.

Primary funding for Five-Star grants is provided by EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries’ Community-based Restoration Program. Additional funding is provided by EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, EPA Region III and Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Five-Star Restoration Projects involves cooperation between at least five participants from local governments, corporations and businesses, schools and youth groups, environmental and citizen organizations, and federal and state government agencies. Partners work together to improve water quality and restore important fish and wildlife habitats. The funded projects were selected from a competitive pool of nearly 200 applicants. Funding is based on the program’s educational and training opportunities for students and at-risk youth, the ecological benefits, and the other cultural and economic benefits to the community.