The awardees, receiving about $60,000 each, are:
o The Center for Watershed Protection Inc., which will provide a replicable blueprint for pollutant load reduction crediting by developing a cost-effective approach to clean urban waters that integrates community-based water monitoring. A stakeholder group will be convened to vet the approach, which is expected to provide significant and quantifiable pollutant reduction to the Proctor Creek watershed in Atlanta. The project team includes the center, the city of Atlanta and the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance.
o Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Inc., which will work with a wide range of partners to engage Proctor Creek Watershed residents to achieve measurable water quality improvements within the creek and its watershed. The riverkeeper will expand its neighborhood water watch program, in which the community will take an active role in identifying and resolving major pollution problems in the watershed. It also will implement a water-quality education and community organizing initiative where residents will collect water samples from dozens of locations throughout the watershed and conduct assessments of the collection sites. The sampling data will be summarized and mapped; participants will be taught how to interpret results.
o Environmental Community Action Inc. and its green infrastructure initiative will create a comprehensive vision for action to reduce flooding and improve water quality in the creek while revitalizing adjacent low-income neighborhoods. This initiative focuses on the higher-elevation Atlanta University Center campuses, which are the sources of much of the contaminated runoff. The project will bring academics together with leaders of underserved communities to understand better the extent and impact of sewage and stormwater flows from the higher-elevation center campuses on the downstream residential communities.
The funding is through EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas.