Contact: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj
(New York, N.Y. – December 9, 2015) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $690,940 to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Research Foundation of SUNY, to better protect wetlands throughout New York.
“Wetlands play a critical role in alleviating harmful effects of climate change, protecting against flooding and storm surges," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "These grants will help strengthen shorelines and the health of wetlands, protecting water quality and fish and wildlife habitats."
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe will use a $212,156 grant to develop water quality criteria for wetlands throughout its jurisdiction. Water quality standards define the goals of water bodies by designating how specific water bodies are used (for fishing, swimming, boating, etc.), setting environmental criteria to protect those uses, and establishing provisions to protect water quality from pollutants. To meet EPA approval, state and tribal water quality standards must include definition of designated uses, water quality criteria, anti-degradation requirements and general policies in their water quality standards.
With a $155,337 grant, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will analyze wetlands and stream networks and categorize them by their susceptibility to the impacts of storm water. NYC Parks will also identify factors that lead to wetland vulnerability and prepare guidelines for storm water management that will best protect downstream wetlands. NYC Parks is responsible for managing almost half of New York City’s freshwater wetlands. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will contribute $52,000 towards the total cost of this project.
The Research Foundation of SUNY at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry will use a $323,447 EPA grant to develop criteria to determine if vernal pools are of “unusual local importance.” Vernal pools are small, temporary bodies of water that are typically found in forests. The Research Foundation of SUNY will work in partnership with the New York Natural Heritage Program on this project and will contribute $133,032 towards the total cost of this project.
Since 1990, EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants have provided financial assistance to help build or refine state and local government wetland programs. These funds provide opportunities for states to conduct research and help build the science behind comprehensive wetlands programs at the state level.
For more information on the EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/wetlands/funding-and-other-resources