Press Release

June 24, 2011

BALTIMORE — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today joined Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to announce a new federal initiative to restore and revitalize Maryland’s Patapsco and Anacostia watersheds and five other watersheds around the nation.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) is a new federal partnership to stimulate regional and local economies, create local jobs, improve quality of life, and protect Americans’ health by revitalizing urban waterways in under-served communities across the country.  

“Programs like the Urban Waters Federal Partnership are important because they help people make the connection between their communities and the environment,” said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee.  “The Baltimore Urban Waters Pilot project will both promote clean, swimmable, fishable water in the Patapsco River, and promote crucial community revitalization that can serve as a springboard for future growth right here in Baltimore.”

The UWFP is comprised of 11 agencies and will focus its initial efforts on seven pilot locations: the Anacostia and Patapsco Watersheds (Washington DC/Maryland),  the Bronx & Harlem River Watersheds (New York), the South Platte River in Denver (Colorado), the Los Angeles River Watershed (California), the Lake Pontchartrain Area (New Orleans, LA), and the Northwest Indiana Area.  

Americans use urban waterways like the Patapsco River as sources of drinking water and for a variety of activities including boating, fishing and swimming. Cleaning up and restoring these water resources is essential to protecting Americans’ health and improving their overall quality of life. Revitalizing these urban waterways will also have a positive economic impact on local businesses, tourism and property values, as well as spur private investment and job creation in these communities.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership will work closely with local governments and community organizations to support their ongoing work and accelerate revitalization of urban waterways.

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