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Updates From Urban Waters Locations

Anacostia River (Washington, DC) - On April 5, Department of the Interior (DOI) Assistant Secretary Tanya Trujillo and Assistant Secretary Shannon Estenoz announced Xavier Brown as the new Anacostia River Watershed Urban Waters Ambassador. Xavier will work to help restore the Anacostia River and improve STEM career opportunities, with a focus on the Anacostia High School in Ward 8 of Washington, DC. 

Blue River (Kansas City, KS) — Heartland Conservation Alliance (HCA), which hosts the Urban Waters Ambassador, was recently awarded $198,195 for a Brownfields Job Training Grant. The funding will provide workforce training and job opportunities for over 50 young Kansas Citians aging out of foster care. Meg McCollister, EPA Region 7 Administrator, presented a novelty check to Heartland Conservation Alliance on April 20 to celebrate the grant. HCA plans to train 54 students and place at least 27 of them in environmental jobs.

Caño Martín Peña (CMP) / San Juan (PR) —The CMP Urban Waters Partnership met on April 27, 2022. During the meeting, Carmen Guerrero, U.S. EPA Caribbean Environmental Protection Division Director, and Ingrid Vila Biaggi, Urban Waters Ambassador, gave welcoming remarks. Partners were updated on the CMP Ecosystem Restoration Project and on the CMP Comprehensive Infrastructure Master Plan final report.

Delaware River Basin (Philadelphia, PA) — The Delaware River Partnership has begun a community fund to support local leaders in the four Partnership cities to implement community greening and engagement projects. $3,000 has already been allocated to help PowerCorps members in Camden, NJ, plant trees and native rain gardens and to help youth in Chester, PA, receive stipends for environmental stewardship work. The location is also supporting local groups by offering letters of support for grant applications that align with the goals of Urban Waters.

Los Angeles River (Los Angeles, CA) — The next LA River Urban Waters Partnership meeting will be held May 26, 2022. During this meeting, the South Coast Chapter of Trout Unlimited will present on its mentorship of seniors from the Odyssey STEM Academy in completing a capstone project related to landscape design, engineering, outreach and environmental justice in the LA River community. Alan Backock, EPA Region 9 Environmental Justice Coordinator, will give a live demonstration of EJScreen 2.0. 

Northwest Indiana Area (IN) — The Partnership welcomes Dr. Victoria Wittig as the new Ambassador for the Northwest Indiana Partnership. Victoria led the Partnership meeting on April 28, 2022. During the meeting, Ben O’Neil, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Engineer, gave an update on the remediation of the middle section of Lake George Canal. Drew Hart, U.S. Forest Service, and Jennifer Birchfield, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and former Ambassador, gave updates on CommuniTree efforts.

Mystic River Watershed/Greater Boston (MA) — The Mystic River Watershed Steering Committee met on May 5, 2022. During the meeting, local and regional experts presented on rainfall projections and flood resiliency. The committee also discussed 2022-2024 joint mission and priorities.    

Rio Reimagined – Salt / Gila River Corridor (Tempe, AZ) — Rio Reimagined held an Earth Day cleanup event on April 23, 2022, to clean up the Salt River and invited volunteers to help remove items from an area of the river often used as a dumping ground. Public and private-sector partners in Rio Reimagined provided equipment to remove larger items like couches, mattresses or auto parts.

South Platte River Urban Waters Partnership (Denver, CO) — The South Platte River Partnership met on May 17, 2022. During the meeting, Kris Wahlers, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, presented on the Keep Colorado Wild legislation and how state parks in the South Platte River Watershed will use revenue for restoration projects. Mike Nye, U.S. EPA, presented on the Regional Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (RESES) project occurring in Sun Valley. Partners also discussed strategic planning and steps to begin implementing the Strategic Plan.

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