Thursday, July 17, 2014

EPA Awards 5 Urban Waters Grants In PA’s Delaware Watershed

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday awarded $2.1 million to 37 organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico to help protect and restore urban waters, improve water quality, and support community revitalization and other local priorities.
The funding is through EPA’s Urban Waters Program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas.
“People, buildings, and businesses are all concentrated in urban areas, making it even more important to protect waterways from pollution.” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “These communities will receive grants, allowing them to help turn these waterways into centerpieces of urban renewal, spurring economic development and job creation.”
The Pennsylvania grants include:
-- Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Delaware River Basin—Chester- $41,679: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will create training sessions that address the current lack of skills needed to maintain and improve the multi‐functionality of the City of Chester’s green spaces. The trainings will focus on three target audiences: municipal employees, under‐skilled landscape laborers, and at-risk youth. These audiences will learn about basic watershed concepts, tree and perennial vegetation installation and maintenance, invasive plant management, riparian buffer restoration and installation, green stormwater infrastructure, sustainable turf management, and community engagement.
-- Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Delaware River Basin—Philadelphia - $40,000: Schuylkill River Development Corporation will analyze the feasibility of using a “greenway- systems” approach to stormwater management by extending the Schuylkill River Trail from 58th Street to south of Passyunk Avenue. Plans for the proposed greenway include absorbing and filtering stormwater runoff, reducing nonpoint source pollution, and contributing to the environmental restoration of the Schuylkill River.
-- Temple University - Delaware River Basin—Philadelphia- $60,000:  Temple University’s Center for Sustainable Communities will develop a framework for developing a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) plan through a participatory geodesign process, and then applying the framework in Delaware Direct and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford watersheds. The project team will create a conceptual GSI plan for the study area, visualize three specific GSI project site plans, and conduct three design charettes in lower-income and minority neighborhoods.
-- Villanova University - Delaware River Basin—Delaware County - $60,000: Villanova University will create two vegetated roof shelters in the Darby Creek Watershed. These roof shelters will function as school bike racks or solar charging stations, as well as living laboratories for conducting research. The results from this project are expected to increase knowledge of stormwater issues in the community, implement stormwater control measures within the member townships of the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative, and reduce stormwater volume.
-- Wilderness Inquiry, Inc. - Delaware River Basin—Philadelphia, Camden,Wilmington - $59,333; Wilderness Inquiry, Inc., will create opportunities for minority and underserved youth to experience, enjoy, and learn about the Delaware River and its tributaries. A main program component is the Wilderness Inquiry Canoemobile. The Canoemobile is a roving fleet of six 24-foot, 10-passenger Voyageur canoes, staffed by seven highly trained outdoor educators. The Canoemobile will spend three days in each of the four cities (Chester and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Camden, New Jersey, and Wilmington, Delaware) where 2,400 underserved school children will paddle the Delaware River or a major tributary, learn about the watershed and their community, and collect water samples for analysis and study.
For more information, visit EPA’s Urban Waters Program webpage.

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