American Rivers and EPA award $150,000 grant to protect land and clean water in the Shenandoah Valley

April 12th, 2012

<p><a href="">Jamie Mierau</a>, American Rivers, 202-607-6086</p>
<p><a href="">Amy Kober</a>, American Rivers, 503-708-1145</p>
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Washington, DC – American Rivers and the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that a land and clean water protection effort in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley will receive a $150,000 grant, as part of a comprehensive initiative to protect and restore rivers in the Potomac Highlands region.

The grant will help the Potomac Conservancy, which safeguards the lands and waters of the Potomac region, implement the Shenandoah Valley Priority Lands Project. The project is an effort to protect important riverside, agricultural, and forested lands in Virginia’s northern Shenandoah Valley with permanent conservation easements. Conservation of these key lands will preserve water quality in the Shenandoah River, the Potomac River’s largest tributary.  It will also support farms, forests, scenery, and the heritage and recreational opportunities for which the Valley is known. More than 1,100 acres of land will be protected with the grant announced today.

“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 Potomac Conservancy 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.”

“Many landowners are pondering how to preserve their property- whether it’s a wooded weekend get-away or a multi-generational family farm. This grant creates an exciting opportunity to help more landowners achieve their goals and protect our rural land and waterways in the process,” said Emily Warner, Land Protection Director for Potomac Conservancy. Warner and the Conservancy’s land protection program are based in Winchester, VA. 

American Rivers is implementing the EPA grant program that awards 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.

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About American Rivers

About American Rivers

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.

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