U.S. EPA awards close to $8 million to protect and restore San Francisco Bay and its watersheds


– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded almost $8 million in grants to protect and restore wetlands and streams in the San Francisco Bay Area. EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Mike Stoker made the announcement today at an event to celebrate the funding for the Three Creeks Parkway Restoration project in Brentwood, California.

“EPA is honored to be a part of the investments being made by our San Francisco Bay partners to revitalize and restore local watersheds,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Supporting these aquatic resources can improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, flood protection, and recreational opportunities.”

Regional Administrator Stoker was joined at the event by American Rivers, Contra Costa County Public Works, City of Brentwood officials and County Supervisor Diane Burgis’ office. American Rivers received $1,376,623 for its Three Creeks Parkway Restoration Project in the Marsh Creek Watershed. The funding will help restore 12.5 acres of floodplain and 4,000 feet of creek in east Contra Costa County that have been degrading due to rapid urbanization.

“With our fantastic partnership with American Rivers, and the assistance of EPA and other grants, we are able to expand our single purpose flood risk mitigation project into a multi-benefit project enhancing the habitat for local wildlife, creating a healthier environment, and providing recreational access for Brentwood residents,” said Chief Engineer for the Contra Costa County Flood Control & Conservation District Brian Balbas.

“This project will be a great example of how a healthy stream can provide so much value to our communities, from flood protection to salmon and wildlife habitat, to recreation opportunities,” said California Director for American Rivers Steve Rothert. “We are grateful to the EPA and our partners for seeing the potential in Marsh Creek. This is the type of multi-benefit project that we need to replicate across the region.”

The following organizations also received EPA grants for projects that benefit San Francisco Bay and its watersheds:

San Francisco Estuary Partnership – Transforming Shorelines Project, $1,481,109
Funds will be used to provide vulnerable shoreline communities, wastewater treatment plants, and other managers of shoreline property with the tools they need to make infrastructure investment choices that adapt to climate challenges such as sea-level rise. 

City of San Pablo – San Francisco Bay Stormwater Trading Pilot, $680,000
The cities of San Pablo and Richmond will pilot a stormwater trading program to exchange water quality credits across jurisdictional boundaries, a current impediment to cities investing efficiently to reduce polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) loads to the bay.

East Bay Regional Park District – Alder Creek Restoration in San Leandro Creek Watershed, $1,509,268
Funding will help restore Alder Creek by removing a set of failing culverts and daylighting the creek in a 2,000-foot section. The project will also create 4 acres of aquatic and riparian habitat benefiting the native rainbow trout.

County of Napa – Oakville to Oak Knoll Reach Restoration, $740,000
Funds will be used to complete a series of restoration sites on the banks of the Napa River through the creation of 3.5 acres of floodplain. In addition, restoration of instream and riparian habitat will improve water quality for the benefit of salmon and steelhead trout.

Oro Loma Sanitary District – Microvi Nutrient Sidestream Treatment, $1,000,000
The project will install additional Microvi technology to increase the wastewater treatment plant’s ability to remove nutrients from the effluent that is discharged into San Francisco Bay.

County of San Mateo – San Mateo Regional Stormwater Project, $500,000
Funding will help produce preliminary designs for two regional subsurface stormwater projects to treat stormwater and reduce flooding. Both projects will reduce PCB loads to the bay.

County of Marin – Marin County Trash Control Infrastructure Project, $685,000
Funds will be used to install trash capture devices to intercept 11,000 gallons of trash annually.

San Francisco Bay is a designated "estuary of national significance" under the Clean Water Act. The bay and its tributary streams, situated in an urban area with more than seven million people, provide crucial fish and wildlife habitat at the heart of the larger Bay-Delta Estuary. The bay’s users and nearby residents are all affected by threats to its ecological health, including legacy pollutants like mercury and PCBs, polluted stormwater, and the challenges of drought and climate change.

For more information about EPA’s San Francisco Bay Water Quality Improvement Fund, visit: http://www.epa.gov/sfbay-delta/sf-bay-water-quality-improvement-fund

For more information about EPA’s Wetland Program Development Grants, visit: https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/wetland-program-development-grants

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

SOURCE: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/us-epa-awards-close-8-million-protect-and-restore-san-francisco-bay-and-its-watersheds

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