EPA Awards Over $59,000 to Provide Job Training that Revitalizes Urban Waters in New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward

(DALLAS – June 27, 2012) The Environmental Protection Agency awarded $59,824 to Groundwork New Orleans to provide training for students working to restore polluted urban waters. The goal of the Urban Waters program is to fund research, studies, training, and demonstration projects that benefit urban waters and the surrounding land. Communities directly benefit from access to natural areas. Urban waters can be canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas.

“By supporting job training for local high school students, this grant will help young people play a part in shaping the future of New Orleans,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Sam Coleman. “Groundwork New Orleans is helping the Lower Ninth Ward’s effort to restore urban waters and grow local businesses.”

Groundwork New Orleans will use their Urban Waters grant funds to help transform vacant and underutilized land into an educational demonstration project called The Green Slice, based in the Lower Ninth Ward. The Green Slice will be designed as a demonstration research site that will teach people about water management and water quality improvement, impacting local urban watersheds. Green Team members will be instrumental in assessing existing water quality and drainage infrastructure. They will then coordinate with other partners to develop plans for testing best management practices. The students will generate educational materials and conduct outreach throughout the project.

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, recreational, employment and social opportunities in nearby communities. By promoting public access to urban waterways, the EPA will help communities become active participants in restoration and revitalization efforts.

Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program is available at http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/index.html

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

For more information contact Dave Bary or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

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