With support from EPA, community-led projects will restore urban waters and streams, address water quality in priority watersheds
Recently, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $50,000 grant to the Oahu Economic Development Board to advance restoration work and expand the scale of community engagement in Honolulu’s Ala Wai Watershed.
The grant will help the Oahu Economic Development Board build on existing partnerships and activities to support neighborhood boards, schools and residents to restore and monitor local streams. Neighborhoods and schools will pair up and, mentored by local restoration organizations, will design neighborhood-wide restoration plans for a Community Design Challenge. The Challenge winner will use prize money to implement their design in Honolulu’s Ala Wai Watershed to advance restoration work, monitoring and community engagement. The Challenge will also advance the Ala Wai Watershed Collaboration’s work to manage the watershed to improve water quality, ecosystem restoration, storm water management, and community livability.
The grant was among 59 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded, totaling $2.2M, to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have committed an additional $5.2M in local project support, generating a total conservation impact of more than $7.4M.
"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 week I’ve toured Honolulu’s wastewater infrastructure,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “I’m pleased this grant will support community engagement in watershed restoration.”
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.
“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 2018 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 250 applications. A full list of 2018 projects is available here: 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 $11.9M in federal funds, $10.6M in private and corporate contributions, and $74.7M 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.
SOURCE: Environmental Protection Agency