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News Releases from Region 06

Five Star Urban Waters Grants Awarded to Team Up to Clean Up Project in Oklahoma

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

08/09/2018

Media contacts: R6Press@epa.gov or 214 665-2200

DALLAS - (August 9, 2018) Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant to Team Up to Clean Up to create 4 acres of wetland habitat to mitigate pollution from stormwater runoff and flooding from the City of Eufaula, OK.

The project will improve water quality in Lake Eufaula and assist the local habitat’s recovery. The project will engage 12 partners and 56 community volunteers to remove existing infrastructure and plant wetlands plants.

"These grants will support projects that help communities improve local water quality and restore degraded wetlands and streams, both of which are critical for a healthy environment and strong economy," said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By working alongside our public and private partners, we can encourage community stewardship and incentivize innovative solutions to address today’s environmental and public health challenges.”

“This grant will go to community-led partners and volunteers to help provide opportunities to experience and learn about the local wetlands,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “Hands-on work done by Team Up to Clean Up will benefit the ecosystem and support its ability to thrive.”

“This NFWF grant will allow us to develop the ‘true north’ of the Eufaula Wetland Park mission-to reach and teach Lake Eufaula area children, educators, parents, community members and visitors about the value of wetlands,” said Jerry McCormick, Team Up to Clean Up Wetland Project Coordinator. “Grant money will be spent on additional wetland plants, construction of part of the walking trail around the park and eventually connecting to an existing shoreline fitness trail, and to purchase and install interpretive signs and kiosks that explain the environmental, social and economic services of wetlands.  These interpretive materials will show how wetlands purify water entering the lake, provide habitat for fish, waterfowl and other wildlife, reduce sediment and more; the point of these materials is to get children and adults alike to see wetlands as a critical natural resource worthy of restoration and protection.”

“The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program generates measurable results for wildlife and communities across the nation,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 59 grants announced today will help communities improve water quality and support wildlife through a variety of conservation efforts, from the removal of invasive species and planting of native vegetation to the reduction of stormwater runoff and creation of wetlands.”

The Team Up to Clean Up grant was among 59 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded, totaling $2.2 million to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have committed an additional $5.2 million in local project support, generating a total conservation impact of more than $7.4 million.

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 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is provided by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and major funding by EPA, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, Shell Oil Company, Southern Company and BNSF Railway.

A full list of 2018 projects is available: http://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Documents/2018grantslate.pdf

Since 1999, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program has supported more than 945 projects, with more than $11.9 million in federal funds, $10.6 million in private and corporate contributions, and $74.7 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-2018

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