EPA awards $2.1 million for urban water projects

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it has given $2.1 million in grants to 37 organizations to protect and restore urban bodies of water and improve water quality.

The projects in 17 states and Puerto Rico are aimed at improving canals, rivers, lakes and other water bodies in urbanized areas, the EPA said.

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“People, buildings, and businesses are all concentrated in urban areas, making it even more important to protect waterways from pollution.” EPA head Gina McCarthy said in a statement. “These communities will receive grants, allowing them to help turn these waterways into centerpieces of urban renewal, spurring economic development and job creation.”

The grants come from the EPA’s Urban Waters Federal Partnership, and range from $40,000 to $60,000 each, the agency said. Many urban waterways have suffered from years of pollution, and the grants are meant to benefit the full cities as well as the water.

All of the projects under the partnership must aim to improve environmental justice and must also improve green space, improve water quality data or work to integrate water quality into urban planning.

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