Grand Rapids, MI (May 10, 2013) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies, announced an expansion of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Since the initiative was kicked off in Baltimore about two years ago, they will add 11 new waterways locations for clean-up, redevelopment, and greening.
Federal officials made the announcement in Grand Rapids, MI, along with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, and local business and civic leaders. The Grand River in Grand Rapids was announced as a new project location.
Other water ways targeted for help in the expanded effort include the Delaware River in and around Philadelphia and in Wilmington, Del., the Passaic River in Newark, NJ, and the Mystic River in the Boston area.
Through the partnership, agencies are working to revitalize urban waterways and communities that surround them, transforming overlooked assets and driving urban revival. With the addition of 11 new locations across the country, the work of the partnership, now in 18 communities, will expand to the country’s largest cities and underserved communities.
“Our waterways should be assets that communities can access and enjoy, especially in urban areas, where so many Americans live and work,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality. “Through this innovative initiative, Federal agencies are working together with local partners to focus their resources and expertise on revitalizing urban waterways and promoting the health and economies of surrounding communities.”
The U.S. Department of Education will join the 11 existing agencies, expanding the expertise of the partnership by connecting school groups with their local waterways and preparing students for careers in science. The U.S. Department of Energy will also join to help communities accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies. With the addition of the two agencies, the expertise and resources available to the sites are expanded.
The 11 new project locations are:
– Big River and Meramec River watersheds near St. Louis, Mo
– Delaware River Basin that covers Philadelphia, Camden, N.J., Chester, Pa., and Wilmington, Del.
– Grand River in Grand Rapids, Mich.
– Green-Duwamish River in Seattle
– Mystic River watershed in Greater Boston
– Martin Pena Canal in San Juan, P.R.
– Middle Blue River in Kansas City, Mo.
– Middle Rio Grande in Albuquerque, N.M.
– Passaic River in Newark, N.J.
– Proctor Creek watershed in Atlanta
– Western Lake Erie Basin near Toledo, Ohio