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Christina Watershed group receive $1 million EPA grant

Release Date: 11/7/2003
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567
HOCKESSIN, Del. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a $1 million grant to the Christina basin partnership today to support efforts to preserve and protect the Christina watershed that covers 565 square miles in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
“The Christina River Basin Clean Water Partnership is a wonderful example of partnerships working together to identify real problems in real places and then fixing them. This funding recognizes their efforts and progress toward improving the environmental health of the Christina watershed, ” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

The Christina watershed group plans to use the funding to further restore and protect the river by implementing agricultural and stormwater best-management efforts in targeted areas of the river.

The Christina group is one of 20 community-based groups receiving federal funding under the $15 million national watershed initiative, which President Bush announced in his State of the Union speech last year.

“The President’s watershed initiative is off to a great start and we hope to build on this strong foundation in the years ahead,” Welsh said. “That is why the President’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year increases national funding for this exciting new program by 30 percent, to $21 million.”

Following the check presentation, the watershed group and fifth graders from Caravel Academy in Bear, Del. demonstrated water monitoring by testing water samples from the adjacent Red Clay creek. The sampling was an example of efforts across the country where volunteers monitor the condition of streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, estuaries, coastal waters, wetlands, and wells. They do this because they want to help protect a stream, lake, bay or wetland near where they live, work, or play.

Grant recipients were selected from 176 nominations nationwide that were reviewed by regional and national experts. The selectees were chosen because they best demonstrated the ability to achieve on-the-ground environmental results in a short time. Each of the watershed organizations exhibited strong partnerships, showed innovation, and demonstrated compatibility with existing governmental programs. Grant totals ranged from $300,000 to $1 million.

The Christina Basin is largely a rural yet suburbanizing watershed, occupying 565 square miles and including four major watersheds: Brandywine Creek (325 sq. mi.), Red clay Creek (54 sq. mi.), White Clay Creek (107 sq. mi.), and the Christina River (78 sq. mi.).

Grant funds will be provided over three years. The major areas to be studied are: agricultural best management practices, storm water control, stream bank restoration, and residential landscape and run-off control.