EPA Awards the Florida Department of Environmental Protection $174,079 for Regional Wetlands Program Development Grant
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 18, 2020) Today the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) $174,079 to support the state's efforts in identifying and assessing Florida's wetlands and to support Florida's Natural Area Inventory (FNAI) with establishing and assessing reference sites. This project continues and expands an effort already underway by Florida State University’s FNAI to establish and assess wetland reference sites for priority Florida wetland community types.
“The primary focus of this grant is to develop and improve state and tribal wetland programs,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “Today’s award is another great example of the effective partnership between federal and state agencies to protect and restore Florida’s wetlands.”
“I’m grateful to work with EPA and Florida DEP to continue to support Florida's Natural Area Inventory”, said Congressman Neal Dunn. “The grant will assist us in preserving Florida’s wetlands and building on the progress made at Florida State University’s FNAI.”
Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) assist state, tribal, and local government agencies and interstate/intertribal entities in developing or refining state/tribal/local programs which protect, manage, and restore wetlands. The grants provide eligible applicants with funding for projects that build or refine state, tribal, and/or local government wetland programs.
“Wetlands are a primary component of Florida’s environment, which contribute greatly to our ability to protect water quality and our natural resources” said FL DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Funding, such as the Regional Wetlands Program Development Grants, play an essential role in Florida’s ability to preserve and support our wetland environments.”
Eligible entities include states, tribes, local governments, public universities, interstate agencies, and intertribal consortia. Funded projects must have relevance to one or more of the four core program elements that EPA has deemed critical for establishing comprehensive state and tribal wetland programs including: monitoring and assessment, voluntary restoration and protection, regulatory approaches including Clean Water Act 401 certification and wetland-specific water quality standards.
A Request for Applications (RFA) to apply for these grants is published every two years, during odd-numbered years. Awards are made on a competitive basis. Additionally, a minimum of 25 percent non-federal match of the project’s total cost is required to be considered. The next RFA will be published on grants.gov in spring of 2021.
For more information on EPA’s WPDGs visit the website at: https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/wetland-program-development-grants-and-epa-wetlands-grant-coordinators.