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EPA Grants $1.2 Million to Restore Lower Elizabeth River

Release Date: 01/17/2008
Contact Information: David Sternberg (215) 814-5548,

PHILADELPHIA (January 17, 2008) – EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh today presented two grants totaling nearly $1.2 million to the Elizabeth River Project to improve water quality along the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. Welsh made the presentation at the group’s annual River Star luncheon at the Founders Inn in Virginia Beach.

The Elizabeth River Project is a community-based watershed group dedicated to restoring the Elizabeth River at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern Virginia.

The grants were a $902,500 Targeted Watershed Initiative Grant, and a Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Grant of $284,000. The funds will be used to reduce contamination and restore water quality in the Money Point section of Chesapeake, Va.

“Integrating these two grants creates a synergy that will empower the Elizabeth River Project to clean up and restore some of the nation’s most contaminated sediments. These funds will also help mobilize River Star industries in partnership to prevent pollution, while enhancing critical aquatic habitat,” said Welsh.

A national panel reviewed 104 projects from around the country that were nominated for a share of $13.4 million in funding to restore and protect watersheds. The Elizabeth River Project is one of 16 organizations selected for funding. The CARE program received 127 grant proposals, of which the Elizabeth River Project is one of the 22 chosen. The funding will support removal of contaminated sediment, create 10 miles of restored habitat, and help reduce toxics and nutrients in storm water runoff. In addition, the grants will support environmental projects at 10 Money Point industrial facilities.

The Elizabeth River is one of the world’s largest natural harbors for military and commercial shipping and a vital part of the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. It is an important tidal estuarine habitat for blue crabs, striped bass, and other species.

A complete list of awardees is available on line at