EPA, Groundwork New Orleans Partner on Community Project

July 21, 2014

The project aims to improve water quality and support community revitalization and other local priorities

EPA Groundwork New Orleans storm water management

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Groundwork New Orleans (NOLA) are conducting neighborhood workshops that introduce citizens to cost-effective, do-it-yourself practices for storm water management in the New Orleans area. Groundwork New Orleans will receive $60,000 to work with local partners to design, train and teach building skills in New Orleans. The project aims to improve water quality, support community revitalization and other local priorities.

“Restoration of Lake Pontchartrain and its waterways will improve public health, provide additional recreational opportunities and boost the local economy,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “Work by grant awardees and partner state agencies makes certain the area continues to benefit our communities for many years to come.”

EPA is awarding $2.08 million to 36 organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico, ranging from $40,000 to $60,000. The projects are in areas that align with the 18 designated Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership includes 14 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and community-led revitalization efforts.

“Groundwork New Orleans is looking forward to continuing their work along the Green Slice corridor by engaging residents in storm water management and community beautification,” said Alicia Neal, executive director, Groundwork NOLA. “EPA Urban Waters funding will support community revitalization and watershed education.”

The purpose of the Groundwork New Orleans “Green Slice” project is to provide an example of watershed/habitat corridor planning based in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. By developing low-impact stormwater retrofits and habitat enhancements in a corridor spanning nearly 3 km between the Mississippi River and Bayou Bienvenue and anchored at Global Green’s Holy Cross Project (a brownfields community). The project aims to serve as a pilot for strategies that provide decreased susceptibility to flooding.

The grant, provided through EPA’s Urban Waters program, supports communities in their efforts to access and improve urban waters. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas. The program will allow communities to benefit from increased access to natural areas.

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 economic, educational, recreational and social opportunities in nearby communities. By reconnecting communities to their local urban waters, EPA will help communities actively participate in restoring urban waters while improving their neighborhoods.


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