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San Antonio and EPA Unite to Restore San Antonio River Basin

Release Date: 10/29/2014
Contact Information: Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or

DALLAS – (Oct. 29, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and thirteen other federal partners are teaming up with San Antonio to revitalize the San Antonio River Basin and improve the local community. This partnership will reconnect local communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways. Improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts will improve the river basin and promote economic, environmental and social benefits.

“We are looking forward to working with our federal partners to strengthen the San Antonio River Basin and the surrounding community. The Urban Waters collaboration will boost recreation, help the economy, create jobs and most importantly protect Americans’ health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry.

Americans use urban waterways as sources of drinking water and for a variety of activities including boating, fishing and swimming. Revitalizing these urban waterways will reconnect citizens to open spaces, and have a positive economic impact on local businesses, tourism and property values, as well as spur private investment and job creation in communities.

“This federal recognition speaks volumes about the progress made to revitalize these waterways,” said U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-San Antonio). “I look forward to continuing our work to improve our city’s natural treasures.”

“Designation as a Federal Urban Waters Partnership location is a great recognition of the work we are doing as a community to restore, revitalize and preserve the San Antonio River and its watershed,” Mayor Taylor said. “Along with our partners, the City of San Antonio recognizes that our creeks and streams can be the x-factor in promoting public health, attracting economic development, and improving environmental quality. The Riverwalk and River Improvements Project have distinguished our city from any other and the Urban Waters Partnership will allow us to build on our internationally-recognized successes.”

In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency selected 37 organizations to receive grants of $40,000 to $60,000 each, totaling approximately $2.1 million to support Urban Water projects. The EPA’s Urban Waters program supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land.

“The San Antonio River Authority is a proud partner with the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, National Park Service, San Antonio Housing Authority and San Antonio Water System,” said Mike Lackey, SARA Bexar County Director for Precinct 3. “Being named as an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location will allow us to continue to build on past successes as we seek to advance these great projects.”

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance economic, educational, recreational and social opportunities in nearby communities. By reconnecting communities to their local urban waters, EPA will help them actively participate in restoring urban waters while improving their neighborhoods.

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