With support from EPA, community-led projects will restore urban waters and streams, address water quality in priority watersheds. PHOTO BY MIRANDA SWAIM

Five Star Urban Waters Grant awarded to project in Atlanta

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recently awarded a grant to Blue Heron Nature Preserve Inc. to restore 1.5 acres of riparian corridor and 500 feet of creek in the Mill Creek Watershed in Atlanta.

According to a press release, the Blue Heron Nature Preserve grant was among 46 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded this year, totaling $1.7 million to restore wildlife habitat and urban waters in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have committed an additional $4.4 million in local project support, generating a total conservation investment of more than $6.1 million. This program supports community partnerships that conserve wildlife and restore river, wetland, riparian, forest and coastal ecosystems.

“These projects will help local communities improve water quality, restore wetlands, and protect wildlife while creating additional recreational opportunities for the surrounding areas,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

“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 goal of the project is to remove invasive plant species along the creek, supplement the area with appropriate native plantings, and connect with two other Five Star restored areas. The project will create 2,200 feet of contiguous restoration and engage 135 community volunteers through seasonal plant surveys and regular trash pickup in the watershed.

Support for the 2019 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is 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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