USGS Partners with Four Cities to Improve Urban Waterways

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Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 10:02 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This fall more than $1.5 million is being invested in improving urban lands and waters thanks to expanded U.S. Geological Survey partnerships with Albuquerque, N.M.; San Antonio, Texas; Gary, Ind.; and Harlem and Bronx, N.Y.

The funds will benefit eight urban water projects critical for citizen health, recreation and economic development. The work leverages USGS water science through the Urban Waters Federal Partnership for a direct impact on urban waterways. The USGS provided $717,000 which is being matched with approximately $870,000 from local and federal partners.

"The funding will allow the USGS to further support those working to provide greater access to nature within urban settings," said Acting USGS Director Bill Werkheiser. "Through the Urban Waters Partnership, the USGS is able to leverage its resources and expertise to help transform degraded lands and rivers into green spaces that provide greater economic and health benefits to urban communities.

The projects include real-time, water level and water-quality monitoring to alert homeowners of threats from floods and other water emergencies, surface-water connections with urban aquifers, measuring the effectiveness of controls such as new rain gardens at reducing stormwater pollution, assessing contaminants in urban waterways to improve public health, and evaluating whether urban restoration projects have improved water quality and stream habitat. The eight new projects will augment existing USGS work at these locations and will add to ongoing work by the USGS and partner agencies at 15 other cities in an effort to improve water information for decision-making nationwide.

The four cities where the projects are located are part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a coalition of fourteen federal agencies working in 19 cities to restore urban waters and the lands that surround them, helping address economic, public health, and environmental priorities. Their work includes partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and philanthropies to clean up pollution; spur redevelopment of abandoned properties; promote new businesses; and provide parks and access for boating, swimming, fishing and community gatherings. To date, the partnership has provided new science tools for planners, improved more than 22,000 acres of land, planted more than 80,000 trees and engaged an estimated 100,000 community members.

SOURCE: U.S. Geological Survey

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