Sep 20, 2018

EPA Awards Grants to Improve Colorado Wetlands

More than $575,000 has been awarded to improve wetland assessments and the development of water quality tools

EPA awards funds for wetland improvement in Colorado
EPA awards funds for wetland improvement in Colorado

The U.S. EPA has awarded $575,333 in wetlands grants to two programs in Colorado to survey, assess, map and provide technological tools such as smartphone applications.

Colorado Natural Heritage Society was awarded $221,250 to survey and assess critical wetlands in the Roaring Fork watershed in western Colorado. This project proposes to conduct a prioritized survey and assessment for critical wetlands within the Roaring Fork watershed. The primary goal is to provide stakeholders, including private landowners, with scientifically valid data on the condition, rarity, location, acres and types of wetlands within the watershed.

Colorado State University’s Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) was awarded $221,250 for the fifth phase of CNHP’s wetlands database, including vegetation classification, floristic quality assessment, a wetland restoration database and updates to the Colorado Wetlands Mobile App. The CNHP will revise Colorado’s wetland and riparian vegetation classification and floristic quality assessment, and create a Colorado wetland and stream restoration database.

The CNHP also was awarded $132,833 to assess critical urban wetlands in the city of Aurora, Colorado. CNHP will update the National Wetland Inventory mapping and conduct field-based wetland assessments in the greater Aurora area. Water quality data will also be collected at these sites. The goal is to create useful products for local land managers, land owners and community members.

EPA has awarded more than $2.5 million in wetlands grant funding for 11 projects across EPA’s mountains and plains region of the West (Region 8). Healthy wetlands perform important ecological functions, such as feeding downstream waters, trapping floodwaters, recharging groundwater supplies, removing pollution, and providing habitat for fish and wildlife.

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