Water: 5 Star Wetland Restoration & Grants
Five Star Restoration Partnership 04
National Association of Counties
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Wildlife Habitat Council
July 28, 2004
Foundation grants to help restore America’s streams and wetlands
WASHINGTON - July 28, 2004 -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Association of Counties and the Wildlife Habitat Council announced today that the Five Star Restoration Program has awarded more than $550,000 to 50 community-led conservation projects to support wetland and streamside restoration projects nationwide.
The partners selected winning projects from a competitive pool of nearly 185 applications. Consideration for funding is based upon a program’s educational and training opportunities for students and at-risk youth, the ecological benefits that would be derived from a project and other cultural and economic benefits to the community. A list of the grant winners and project locations is attached.
In addition to federal funds provided through the program, communities have committed more than $2.8 million to these programs.
Five Star Restoration Program projects involve a high degree of cooperation, with local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools and environmental organizations working together to improve local water quality and restore important fish and wildlife habitats.
Ben Grumbles, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency said, "EPA supports the Five Star Restoration program because it provides opportunities for environmental education and aquatic habitat restoration in communities across the U.S. Five Star exemplifies the type of programs that are putting the nation on a path to achieving President Bush’s commitment to restore, improve and protect three million acres of wetlands by 2009.”
“NOAA Fisheries is proud to be a Five Star partner through our community-based restoration program,” said Bill Hogarth, National Marine Fisheries Service assistant administrator. “NOAA’s goal of healthy coastal habitats and vibrant coastal communities can only be accomplished when there is strong local stewardship of the habitats that support our fisheries resources.”
Federal partners, which provided the federal funds, include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wetlands and the Oceans and Watersheds of its Office of Water, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Additional funding also comes from the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay program offices.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitat on which they depend. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Foundation distributed 687 grants in 2003 and has leveraged $261 million in federal funds since its establishment, for a total of more than $786 million in on-the-ground conservation.
Project summaries are available at www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/restore/5star/04grants.html.