Washington, DC – American Rivers and the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that a riverfront revitalization effort in Waynesboro, VA will receive a $163,875 grant, as part of a comprehensive initiative to protect and restore rivers in the Potomac Highlands region. The grant will help the City of Waynesboro implement its “Restoring Waynesboro’s Riverfront Parks” project.
The South River has suffered degradation common in urban areas that results in phosphorus, sediment, and bacteria pollution, which has led to the river being listed on the state’s impaired waters list. With these funds, the City will restore riverside habitat, stabilize streambanks, and better manage polluted runoff using a variety of green infrastructure techniques to improve water quality at two public parks along the South River. The project will also improve habitat for eastern brook trout, enhance recreation opportunities, and complement the South River Greenway project currently underway in Waynesboro.
“This grant allows American Rivers to not only have a tremendous impact on the health of the region’s rivers and clean water, but also on economic prosperity and quality of life,” said Chris Williams, Senior Vice President for Conservation at American Rivers. “We congratulate the City of Waynesboro on their hard work and innovative ideas, and we look forward to seeing the many benefits to clean water and people. We hope this project inspires other communities and can be replicated across the region and the nation.”
The City of Waynesboro is excited about this opportunity to improve the valuable community asset that is the South River and the prospect of working with American Rivers and a diverse group of community-based partners, including Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, South River Science Team, DuPont Corporation and Trout Unlimited. These projects were identified as high priorities in a water quality improvement plan (also known as a TMDL Implementation Plan) that was developed to address nutrient, sediment and bacteria pollution in the South River in 2010. These restoration projects highlight the City’s commitment to improving water quality and the City’s acknowledgement of the critical role a healthy South River will play in a vibrant, sustainable community.
American Rivers is implementing the EPA’s Potomac Highlands grant program that rewards local, innovative solutions to benefit clean water and local economies. A total of $1,373,119 is being awarded to six projects to protect rivers and clean water in the Potomac Highlands region of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Highlands region is the headwaters of the Potomac River, which flows through the nation’s capital. The region’s forests and streams provide rich habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants, as well as increasingly popular recreation and tourism destinations. Many of the region’s streams have been damaged by harmful logging, mining, dams, and other development, but opportunities abound for river restoration and revitalization.
Learn more: www.americanrivers.org/potomachighlands
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.