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EPA awards three Arizona wetlands projects totaling $402,936

Release Date: 01/05/2006
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 947-4248

(01/05/06) SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the Hualapai Tribe $265,186 as part of a wetlands development pilot program, and also awarded Santa Cruz County $87,750 and the Ak-Chin Indians $50,000 for wetlands development projects.

The grants are part of over $1.5 million the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region awarded to nine organizations, tribes and local governments this year to protect wetlands in California, Arizona and Nevada.

“Wetlands are a crucial aquatic resource in Arizona, where many have been lost to urban and agricultural development,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “The EPA supports these projects to further help protect and restore Arizona’s vital wetlands.”

As part of a pilot program designed to determine environmental results from state and tribal wetland programs and to meet the goals of protecting wetland acreage and protecting vulnerable waters, the Hualapai Tribe will use the grant and $265,186 of its own funds to:
continue monitoring and protecting 18 wetlands on the reservation;
incorporate water quality and bio-monitoring data into long-term databases to track success of protection activities;
use GPS and GIS technologies to document wetland expanse where wetlands have been protected from cattle and feral animals through fencing; and
fence and monitor an additional three wetlands.

Santa Cruz County will use the funds, plus $51,500 of its own, to:
map vegetation along Santa Cruz River’s riparian corridor from the Mexican border to the Santa Cruz/Pima County line;
prioritize areas for protective action based on riparian habitat quality assessments and value to floodplain functions;
develop native plant lists draft ordinances to support repair and development guidance;
recommend conservation tools and strategies to prioritize area protection under the county’s plan; and
recommend to the County Board of Supervisors effective methods to ensure that vegetation maps and conservation tools remain in use and are updated as needed.

    The Ak-Chin Indian Tribe will use the funds, in addition to $16,667 of its own to:
    develop a wetlands inventory and assessment to identify terrain, flora, and fauna, and to identify areas for rehabilitation;
    map existing and potential wetland areas;
    define parameters for “no net loss” to the tribe’s established wetlands; and
    determine best management practices and develop a long term monitoring plan.

    Wetland areas reduce flood risk, recharged water supplies and protect drinking water from pollution, but vulnerable to environmental changes and the impacts of human activities. More than one third of the nation's threatened and endangered species depend on wetland habitats for survival.

    For more information on the EPA’s Wetlands Program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands. States, tribes, or local governments seeking funding for upcoming wetlands program grants can contact Cheryl McGovern at (415) 972-3415. A request for proposals will be released later this month and will be posted on the EPA Pacific Southwest region’s Web site at https://www.epa.gov/region09, the EPA Headquarters Web site at https://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/grantguidelines, and the national grant website at http://www.fedgrants.gov.

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