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Tucson’s Sonoran Institute eligible for $800,000 EPA targeted watershed funds


SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the Sonoran Institute of Tucson, Ariz. is one of 16 organizations selected nationwide as finalists eligible to apply for a total of $13.36 million through the EPA’s Targeted Watersheds Grants Program.

The selected organizations will implement a variety of activities to improve the health of their watersheds.

“These award-winning projects demonstrate the dedication and commitment of diverse stakeholders to protect watersheds across America,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “The EPA’s seed money will support watershed projects that restore and sustain clean water and healthy ecosystems.”

The Sonoran Institute’s Santa Cruz River Civic-Science Conservation Initiative is eligible for up to $800,000 to supplement $377,500 put forward by the state and local government, as well as, the project sponsor. Funds will support three components of the Santa Cruz watershed program -- restoration, monitoring, and policy -- culminating with the creation of a coordinated watershed-wide river conservation steering committee and a State of the Santa Cruz River report.
The EPA initiated the Targeted Watersheds Grant Program in 2002 to encourage successful community-based approaches to protect and restore the nation’s watersheds. Watershed health is important to providing clean, safe water where Americans live, work and play. Since 2003, the EPA has provided more than $40 million through Targeted Watersheds Grants.

This year’s finalist projects include plans to restore and enhance wetland and riparian habitats, support agricultural best-management practices, promote low-impact development, as well as a variety of innovative and incentive-based programs to mitigate toxics and promote financial sustainability.

The organizations invited to apply for the grant money made available today are:

The Sonoran Institute – Santa Cruz River, Ariz.
Champlain Watershed Improvement Coalition of New York – Lake Champlain, N.Y.
Clear Creek Watershed Foundation – Upper Clear Creek, Colo.
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes – Jocko River Watershed, Mont.
County Government of Maui - West Maui Watershed, HI
Ducks Unlimited – Upper Klamath Basin, Ore.
Grand Traverse Band Ottawa & Chippewa Indians – Betsie Platte Otter Watershed, Mich.
Groundwork Yonkers – Saw Mill River Watershed, N.Y.
Heidelberg College – Honey Creek Watershed, OH
Kansas Department of Health and Environment – Marais Des Cygnes Basin, Kan., Mo.
Lewis & Clark County Government – Lake Helena Watershed, Mont.
Nisqually River Foundation – Nisqually River, Wash.
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission – Tri-State Connecticut River Watershed, Vt., N.H., Mass.
Rio Puerco Alliance – Torreon Wash, N.M.
The Elizabeth River Project – Money Point, Va.
Upstate Forever – Saluda-Reedy Watershed, S.C.


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