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Urban Waters Federal Partnership Launches First Pilot Program In Los Angeles

Grayson_Lynn_COLORBy E. Lynn Grayson

 

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership, made up of 11 federal agencies, recently announced a program in seven cities that will accelerate and coordinate on-the-ground projects that are critical to improving water quality and public health, restoring forest resources and fostering community stewardship in urban watersheds. Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Urban Waters Ambassadors Program will work with state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and other local partners. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is an effort to help urban and metropolitan areas, particularly those that are underserved or economically distressed, connect with their waterways and work to improve them.

The first Urban Waters Ambassador has been selected for the Los Angeles River watershed pilot project with additional ambassadors to follow for the Anacostia River watershed (Washington, D.C. and Maryland), the Patapsco River watershed (Baltimore, Maryland), the Bronx and Harlem River watersheds (New York City), the South Platte River (Denver, Colorado), Lake Pontchartrain (New Orleans, Louisiana) and Northwest Indiana. Each of the pilot locations was selected due to the strong local and community leadership spearheading restoration efforts underway. Lessons learned from these pilot locations will benefit communities across the country.

Later this year, the Council for Watershed Health, a non-profit partner on the Los Angeles River watershed location, will host a staffer from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development who will focus on coordinating the pilot project. The Los Angeles River location includes more than 30 partner organizations – federal, state and local governments and non-profit organizations – focusing on a range of restoration projects, studies and outreach in the Los Angeles area.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership closely aligns with and advances the work of the White House's place-based efforts, including the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, to revitalize communities, create jobs and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the nation. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership also advances the work of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative.

For more information on the seven Urban Waters Federal Partnership pilot projects, visit http://www.urbanwaters.gov/projects.html. For more information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, visit http://urbanwaters.gov.