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Regional Geographic Initiative Grants Support Local Environmental Efforts

Release Date: 11/3/2003
Contact Information: Dan Phalen
(206) 553-8578

November 3, 2003

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today eleven organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are receiving federal funds to support unique, geographically-based projects that fill critical gaps in the Agency's ability to protect human health and the environment. The grants, known as the Regional Geographic Initiative (RGI), total $431,000 and are spread across Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

"So much innovation and progress in environmental protection efforts come from established organizations in our local communities," said Dan Phalen, RGI Program Manager for EPA's Pacific Northwest Office. "Projects like what these organizations are doing today are crucial to how we manage our natural resources tomorrow."

The EPA is now accepting applications for the 2004 round of Regional Geographic Initiative grants. Proposals will be accepted for innovative projects ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. This years proposals must be postmarked by December 18, 2004. For more information, visit
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Grant Project Descriptions

    Cook Inlet Keeper ($38,500)
    Protecting Kenai Peninsula's Salmon Streams
      The project will receive $38,500 to monitor water quality and wetland health in local area watersheds. Cook Inlet Keeper will use the data collected to identify how often state water quality standards are exceeded, evaluate the health of animals and share the information with the local community.
    University of Idaho ($41,500)
    Biological Control of Weeds - Implementation, Distribution, and Technology
      The project will encourage alternate forms of noxious weed control and reduce the use of chemical herbicides. U of I Extension Agents will distribute USDA approved biological control agents at field workshops and seminars throughout Idaho. Land owners can use Biological controls, such as weed eating insects or pathogens, to effectively deal with noxious weeds.

    Idaho State Department of Agriculture ($30,000)
    Idaho Crop Residue Disposal Communication Initiative
      The project will address needs for better communication regarding field burning with Idaho citizens and growers. Using email, media and internet outreach along with enhanced GIS mapping the Dept. of Agriculture will provide specific, daily information on burning activities. The result will be better daily burn decisions that more effectively manage smoke.

    Idaho Department of Environmental Quality ($45,000)
    EFSFSR Fish and Chips to Compost
      The project will take 200,000 pounds of fish from Cascade Lake and 500 cubic yards of slash piles from the Payette National Forest, and turn them into compost and topsoil for use in redeveloping soils at the Stibnite mine site. The goal is to reduce the nutrients in the phosphorous waste stream, as well as smoke from slash burning, and heavy metals discharges from mine wastes.
    Lane Council of Governments ($30,000)
    Environmental Resource Protection in the Southern Willamette Valley
      Project will receive $30,000 to measure and monitor the impacts of alternative urban growth scenarios on air and water quality and rare habitat types. The results of the effort will be available to rural and urban planners as they consider environmental impacts of growth.
    Contact: Carol Heinkel 541-682-4107

    Rogue Basin Coordinating Council ($44,000)
    Rogue Basin Biomonitoring Project
      The project will provide animal monitoring and sampling teams to the many area watershed councils. The teams will be equipped for Department of Environmental Quality standardized sampling which will allow for watershed to watershed comparisons. The teams will also support an educational effort to local students called A Kids and Bugs, @ focusing on clean water and salmon restoration.

    Oregon State University ($45,000)
    Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center
    Developing Natural Herbicides for no-Till Organic Farming
      The Project will screen a wide variety of crop plants which suppress weed germination. Chemicals found in these plants will be used to develop natural herbicides which are safer for the environment.

    Portland State University ($45,000)
    Neighborhood Level Diesel Exhaust Component Monitoring Near Freeway
      The project will monitor airborne particulate matter and NO2 levels in the neighborhoods along the I-5 corridor in Portland. Communities will be presented with the data to raise awareness on the impacts of diesel exhaust.
    Jamestown-S'Kallam Tribe ($37,000)
    Jimmycomelately Creek and Estuary Restoration GIS Database Model
      The project will create a Geographic Information Systems model using the latest remote sensing data. The database will be used for the estuary = s 10 year monitoring plan to analyze ecological and geographical data.

    Puget Sound Action Team ($45,000)
    Puget Sound - Georgia Basin Transboundardy Ecosystem Indicators
      The project will bring government and non-government partners together from the United States and Canada to develop environmental reference points used to gauge ecosystem health. Traditionally, the Puget Sound has been managed as an ecosystem separate from Canada = s Georgia Basin. In recent years, environmental managers from both countries have been evaluating both areas as one ecosystem.

    University of Washington ($30,000)
    Department of Urban Design and Planning
    Integrated Spatial Framework of the Effects of Urbanization, Ocean Ecosystems, and Human Health in Puget Sound
      The project will study the effects of urbanization on marine ecosystem health and how those impacts affect human health.

    Washington Trout ($45,000)
    Land Use and Coho Prespawning Mortality in the Snohomish Watershed
      The project will perform coho salmon spawning success surveys in 18 sub-basins within the Snohomish watershed in Western Washington. The selected basins will represent a variety of land-uses, including: urban/suburban, rural residential/agricultural, and rural unimpacted. The final report will clearify the relationship between coho prespawning mortality rates and land use.