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EPA awards Southern California $500,000 for wetlands projects

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

(01/05/06) SAN FRANCISCO -- As part of a new wetlands development program pilot, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the California Resources Agency $300,000 to expand wetland monitoring and report on wetland acreage statewide, and also awarded a $200,000 wetlands development grant to the Torres Martinez Tribe to monitor and assess its wetland resources at the Salton Sea.

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 resource for California, where many of our wetlands have been lost to urban and agricultural development,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “We believe these investments will help protect and restore our remaining wetlands.”

The EPA awarded $300,000 to the California Resources Agency as part of a new pilot program to determine environmental results from wetland programs and to meet the goals of protecting wetland acreage. The agency will use the funds, matched with $300,000 of state funds, to manage data and report on extent and condition of wetlands statewide. The initial effort will expand wetland regulatory and non-regulatory assessment and tracking capacity in the state's coastal regions and then demonstrate the tools to remaining regions in California.

The Torres Martinez Tribe will use the grant, matched with $66,666 in tribal funding, to monitor and assess the quantity and condition of tribal wetlands. The wetland resource assessment will provide a baseline for future monitoring and subsequent assessments of anticipated gains in acreage.

Wetland areas reduce flood risk, recharged water supplies and protect drinking water from pollution, but are 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: 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, the EPA Headquarters Web site at, and the national grant website at