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EPA awards over $575k in wetlands grants in Colorado to bolster wetland assessments and the development of water quality tools and data

Colorado Natural Heritage Society and Colorado State University-Natural Heritage Program will provide invaluable resources to Roaring Fork and Aurora watershed stakeholders

09/05/2018
Contact Information: 
Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (mcclain-vanderpool.lisa@epa.gov)
303-312-6077

Denver, Colo. (September 5, 2018) – EPA has awarded $575,333 in wetlands grants to two programs in Colorado to survey, assess, map and provide technological tools such as smart phone applications.

“The data these projects generate are important to understanding, protecting and restoring wetlands in the state of Colorado,” said Darcy O’Connor, Assistant Regional Administrator of the Office of Water Protection. “Supporting decision making with solid scientific data is the wise approach to wetlands protection.”

Colorado Natural Heritage Society was awarded $221,250 to survey and assess critical wetlands in the Roaring Fork watershed in western Colorado. This project proposes to conduct a prioritized survey and assessment for critical wetlands within the Roaring Fork Watershed. The primary goal is to provide stakeholders, including private landowners with scientifically valid data on the condition, rarity, location, acres, and types of wetlands within the watershed.

Colorado State University’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) was awarded $221,250  for the 5th phase of CNHP’s wetlands database including vegetation classification, floristic quality assessment, a wetland restoration database and updates to the Colorado Wetlands Mobile App.  The CNHP will revise Colorado’s wetland and riparian vegetation classification and floristic quality assessment, and create a Colorado wetland and stream restoration database.

The CNHP was also awarded $132,833 to assess critical urban wetlands in the city of Aurora, Colorado. CNHP will update the National Wetland Inventory mapping and conduct field-based wetland assessments in the greater Aurora area. Water quality data will also be collected at these sites. The goal is to create useful products for local land managers, land owners and community members.

EPA has awarded over $2.5 million in wetlands grant funding for 11 projects across EPA’s mountains and plains region of the West (Region 8). Healthy wetlands perform important ecological functions, such as feeding downstream waters, trapping floodwaters, recharging groundwater supplies, removing pollution, and providing habitat for fish and wildlife.

Wetlands Program Development Grants assist state, tribal, local government agencies, and interstate/intertribal entities in building programs that protect, manage, and restore wetlands and aquatic resources. States, tribes, and local wetlands programs are encouraged to develop wetlands program plans, which help create a roadmap for building capacity and achieving long-term environmental goals.

For more program information visit: https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/wetland-program-development-grants