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DALLAS – (Aug. 28, 2019) Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced grants to projects in New Mexico and Texas as part of $1.7 million in funding under NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. The grants support public-private partnerships that help restore wildlife habitat and urban waters across the country.

“EPA is pleased to continue our support for this innovative public-private partnership that encourages community stewardship and incentivizes local solutions to today’s environmental and public health challenges,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These projects will help local communities improve water quality, restore wetlands and protect wildlife while creating additional recreational opportunities for the surrounding areas.”

“Communities are deeply connected to their rivers, lakes, and watersheds, and understand the importance of preserving and restoring them,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “EPA is proud to continue funding these grants that allow local groups to take the lead in restoring habitats and improving water quality..”

“The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program supports community partnerships that restore and enhance our nation’s fish and wildlife, while at the same time improving water quality and habitat for plants and animals,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 46 grants announced today will help local communities thrive by increasing resilience, improving green infrastructure and supporting the people and wildlife that call these places home.”

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The funding will help support three projects in New Mexico and Texas:

•             Tijeras Creek Watershed, NM: Talking Talons Youth Leadership received $49,156 to help restore and protect the Tijeras Creek Watershed by providing watershed protection education through classroom sessions, field trips, teacher workshops and stewardship sessions. The project will remove invasive species such as Siberian elm and toadflax on 5 acres, plant 75 trees and engage 955 youth, teachers and community members.

•             Harris and Galveston Counties, TX: The Galveston Bay Foundation received $38,628 to increase organizational capacity through a partnership between the Get Hip to Habitat education program and their citizen science Water Monitoring Team to more effectively serve students and residents around the Houston-Galveston region. This project will directly engage 800 students and 15 teachers in environmental education activities, restore 1.3 acres of wetland habitat, oversee 70 volunteers in monthly water quality monitoring and inform over 4,000 residents of local water quality issues.

•             Alice Branch Creek, Dallas, TX: The Trust for Public Land received $50,000 to increase organizational capacity through a partnership between the Get Hip to Habitat education program and their citizen science Water Monitoring Team to more effectively serve students and residents around the Houston-Galveston region. The project will directly engage 800 students and 15 teachers in environmental education activities, restore 1.3 acres of wetland habitat, oversee 70 volunteers in monthly water quality monitoring and inform over 4,000 residents of local water quality issues.

NFWF’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program supports projects that develop community stewardship of natural resources and address water quality issues in priority watersheds across the country. In total, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is awarding 46 grants this year. EPA’s funding will go toward 24 of those projects in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Program wide, grantees have committed an additional $4.4 million in local project support, generating a total conservation investment of more than $6.1 million.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program supports community partnerships that conserve wildlife and restore river, wetland, riparian, forest and coastal ecosystems. Support for the 2019 grants are provided by the Wildlife Habitat Council, and major funding by EPA, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fedex, Shell Oil Company, Southern Company and BNSF Railway.

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The 2019 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 190 applications. A full list of 2019 projects are available here.

For more information about the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant program, visit https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaterspartners/five-star-and-urban-waters-restoration-grant-program-2019.

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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central 

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