The Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Program awards $1.7 million to 46 projects, and grantees add another $4.4 million

On August 28, 2019 the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced 46 grants totaling $1.7 million to restore water quality and aquatic habitat that will help revitalize both wildlife and human communities in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Grantees have pledged an additional $4.4 million, creating a total conservation impact of more than $6.1 million.

The Five Star and Urban Waters programs strengthen the work that we’re currently doing to support killer whale conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest,” said Shirley Yap, who serves as the general manager of Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes, Washington. “Southern resident killer whales are embedded in the fabric of our region’s cultural heritage, and we’re proud to partner with so many leading organizations from across the region to preserve water resources for future generations and enhance habitat for local wildlife.”

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program awarded these grants to advance community stewardship of local natural resources across the country. The 46 projects will restore urban waters and wildlife habitat and generate recreation opportunities in priority watersheds nationwide through direct engagement with community members of all ages to implement restoration and monitoring projects.

These projects will help local communities improve water quality, restore wetlands, and protect wildlife while creating additional recreational opportunities for the surrounding areas,”​ said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

Programmatic support for the 2019 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program is contributed by the Wildlife Habitat Council. Major funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, Shell Oil Company, Southern Company and BNSF Railway.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program supports community partnerships that restore and enhance our nation’s fish and wildlife, while at the same time improving water quality and habitat for plants and animals,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 46 grants announced today will help local communities thrive by increasing resilience, improving green infrastructure and supporting the people and wildlife that call these places home.

The program chose 2019 awardees from an extremely competitive pool of more than 190 applications. The winning projects comprise extensive local partnership between community groups, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools and businesses.

Twenty years after the Urban Bird Treaty Cities program was founded, Five Star Grants are helping cities connect people to birds, creating more vibrant, healthier communities,” said Jerome Ford, U.S. Fish and Wildlife assistant director for migratory birds.

Since 1999, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program has supported almost a thousand projects, with more than $12.8 million in federal funds, $11.3 million in private and corporate contributions, and $78.8 million in local matching funds.

Through our partnership with NFWF, private funders, and other federal agencies, the Forest Service is proud to help communities accomplish their restoration goals,” said Vicki Christiansen, chief of the USDA Forest Service. “We are committed to sustaining our nation’s forests, grasslands, and watersheds through partnerships that engage people directly in shared stewardship of their natural resources.

Photo of orca via Adobe Stock.

See full list of 2019 projects (PDF).

See NFWF website.

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