EPA initiative aims to restore urban waterways

BALTIMORE — A new federal partnership aims to restore urban waterways in under-served communities across the country, according to a release from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a federal union comprised of 11 agencies, will focus its initial efforts on seven pilot locations: the Patapsco Watershed (Maryland), the Anacostia Watershed (Washington DC/Maryland), the Bronx & Harlem River Watersheds (New York), the South Platte River in Denver (Colorado), the Los Angeles River Watershed (California), the Lake Pontchartrain Area (New Orleans, La.), and the Northwest Indiana Area.

Each of the pilot locations already has a strong restoration effort underway, spearheaded by local governments and community organizations. Lessons learned from these pilot locations will be transferred to other cities in the country.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is led by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and coordinated by the White House Domestic Policy Council.

U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, Council for Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced the partnership along the Patapsco River in Baltimore.

“There is a range of health and environmental challenges facing our urban waters today — but each challenge is matched by an incredible opportunity to transform distressed urban waterfronts into centerpieces for community revitalization,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a statement. “Urban waters have the potential to support healthy environments, growing business and educational and recreational activities. By bringing together the experience and expertise of multiple federal partners, we have a chance to reconnect local residents, young people and community groups with the environmental resources all around them.”

Click here to read the complete statement on the initiative.

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