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EPA Awards Delaware More Than $1.15 Million to Protect Water Quality

08/23/2018
Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (seneca.roy@epa.gov)
(215) 814-5567

PHILDELPHIA (August 23, 2018) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has awarded $1,164,612 to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to improve the health of Delaware’s rivers and streams.

“This grant highlights the power of state and federal governments working in partnership to protect the natural environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Providing these funds directly to Delaware empowers the state to address its unique and critical environmental challenges.”

“Over the years, there has been vast improvement in the water quality in Delaware, but challenges still persist,” said Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “DNREC appreciates the ongoing partnership and funding support from EPA. This grant will support investments in cover crops, nutrient management, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), stormwater retrofits, and tree planting projects that will enhance and improve water quality statewide.”

The funding is provided under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, which authorizes EPA to provide grants to states to implement nonpoint source pollution control programs. It will support Delaware’s nonpoint source management program, focusing on watersheds with water quality impairments caused by polluted runoff. These nonpoint source control projects include a variety of structural and non-structural best management practices, monitoring, and technology demonstrations. The funding will also support outreach activities to educate the public about nonpoint source pollution.

Nonpoint source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away pollutants, depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and ground water. Sources of nonpoint source pollution include urban runoff, agricultural runoff, and changes to natural stream channels.

Congress enacted Section 319 of the Clean Water Act in 1987, establishing a national program to control nonpoint sources of water pollution. Section 319 enables EPA to provide states, territories, and tribes with guidance and grant funding to implement their nonpoint source programs and support local projects to improve water quality.

Since 2005, this work by states has restored more than 550 impaired waterbodies nationally, which includes more than 200,000 acres of lakes and more than 10,500 miles of rivers and streams. Hundreds of additional projects are currently underway across the country.

Learn more about successful nonpoint source projects at https://www.epa.gov/nps/nonpoint-source-success-stories.