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EPA awards $762,649 for Virginia’s wetlands programs

Release Date: 01/17/2006
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

(1-17-06) PHILADELPHIA --The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $762,249 grant to support Virginia’s wetlands programs.

“Wetlands are one of our nation’s most unique ecosystems, providing various environmental and economic benefits,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “By committing to protect and restore these valuable resources, Virginia is taking big steps in protecting the environmental quality.”

Most of the grant ($606,726) goes to the Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality to develop a comprehensive compliance and inspection strategy for non-tidal wetlands.

The rest of the funding ($155,923) goes to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to enhance the institute’s and partnering agencies’ ability to report conditions of estuarine wetlands in three major river systems. The project involves developing wetland inventories and assessments using estuarine segments of the York River (Virginia), Nanticoke River (Maryland), and Indian River (Delaware) as subject watersheds. The proposal takes a multi-level approach to tidal wetland inventory and assessment that can serve as a prototype for future expanded investigations across these states.

The grant comes from a pilot wetlands project at EPA that was set up to study the effectiveness of state and tribal wetland programs. The project focuses on linking program activities to measurable environmental outcomes, particularly no net loss of wetlands, net gain of wetlands and the protection of vulnerable wetlands.

The funding covers a three-year grant period with one-third of the funding provided each year.