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Five Star Urban Waters Grant Awarded to Elizabeth River Project

With support from EPA, community-led projects will restore urban waters and streams, address water quality in priority watersheds

08/29/2019
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PHILADELPHIA (August 29, 2019) – Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced a $49,968 grant to the Elizabeth River Project in Norfolk, Virginia to help create oyster habitats in the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River.

The Elizabeth River Project grant was among 46 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded this year, totaling $1.7 million to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have committed an additional $4.4 million in local project support, generating a total conservation investment of more than $6.1 million. This program supports community partnerships that conserve wildlife and restore river, wetland, riparian, forest and coastal ecosystems.

“EPA is pleased to continue our support for this innovative public-private partnership that encourages community stewardship and incentivizes local solutions to today’s environmental and public health challenges,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These projects will help local communities improve water quality, restore wetlands, and protect wildlife while creating additional recreational opportunities for the surrounding areas.”

“The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program supports community partnerships that restore and enhance our nation’s fish and wildlife, while at the same time improving water quality and habitat for plants and animals,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 46 grants announced today will help local communities thrive by increasing resilience, improving green infrastructure and supporting the people and wildlife that call these places home.”

With this funding, the Elizabeth River Project will deploy the latest technologies for creating oyster habitats in the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River to create five acres of robust habitat for the keystone species of the Chesapeake Bay, the native oyster. The project will include adding 86 cubic yards of material ranging from “oyster castles” to a new design for “oyster discs” that mimic natural reefs.

The grant is awarded through the NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program, which support projects that develop community stewardship of natural resources and address water quality issues in priority watersheds across the country. Support for the 2019 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is provided by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and major funding by EPA, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fedex, Shell Oil Company, Southern Company and BNSF Railway.

The 2019 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 190 applications. A full list of 2019 projects are available at: https://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Pages/home.aspx .  

Since 1999, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program has supported almost a thousand projects, with more than $12.8 million in federal funds, $11.3 million in private and corporate contributions, and $78.8 million in matching funds at the local level.

For more information about the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant program, visit https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaterspartners/five-star-and-urban-waters-restoration-grant-program-2019 .