PHILADELPHIA – The Environmental Protection Agency and American Rivers today announced two additional recipients of environmental grants to benefit communities, protect and restore habitat, forests, farmland, rivers and clean water in the Potomac Highlands region of West Virginia.
Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust and the University of Kentucky Research Foundation will each receive a $150,000 grant.
The Cacapon & Lost Rivers Land Trust will use this grant to permanently protect a minimum of 500 acres of important forest land and wildlife habitat in this watershed which will not only expand existing conservation hubs and corridors, but will help protect the economic viability and cultural heritage of the region.
In the Lambert Run watershed, the Green Forests Work Program of the University of Kentucky Research Foundation will implement ecological restoration on 105 acres, of which 2,600 acres were mined for coal in the 1970s. Restoration activities include soil decompaction, planting of native trees and shrubs, and creating wetlands to restore habitat for native brook trout, and numerous wetland species.
Under a cooperative agreement with EPA, American Rivers is implementing the Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant Program that supports local economies and quality of life improvements in the region, as well as protecting the Highlands' valuable ecosystems, some of which host the most diverse and globally important resources on Earth. To date, the environmental grant program has distributed $1.67 million to efforts in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
"EPA is pleased to announce these two new grants for projects in the Potomac Highlands that will significantly benefit West Virginia residents," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "Not only will these projects help preserve and restore prime habitat, they will also assist the local economy which relies on unique natural resources."
“American Rivers is proud to be part of this ambitious grant program, supporting the work of communities across the Potomac Highlands to safeguard the clean water and healthy rivers that are central to the region’s economic prosperity and quality of life,” said Chris Williams, American Rivers' senior vice president for conservation. “We congratulate the grant recipients for their hard work and innovative ideas. We hope these projects inspire other communities and are replicated across the region and the nation.”
The Highlands region is the headwaters of the Potomac River, which flows through the nation’s capital. The region’s streams and forests provide an estimated 186,000 jobs in the timber industry, and are a rich habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants, as well as an increasingly popular recreation and tourism destination. Many of the region’s streams have been damaged by harmful logging, mining, dams, and other development, but opportunities abound for river protection and restoration.
- Learn more on EPA's strategy plan for restoration and protection of EPA Highlands Action Program.
- Learn more about the grant recipients.
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.