The U.S. EPA and its partners the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Association of Counties, the Wildlife Habitat Council and its latest sponsor Southern Company announced on July 5 that the Five Star Restoration Challenge Grant Program has awarded more than $518,000 to 39 community-led wetland and streamside restoration projects nationwide.
The Five Star Challenge Grants Program develops knowledge and skills in young people through restoration projects that involve multiple and diverse partners, including local/state/federal government agencies, community groups, businesses, schools, youth organizations and environmental organizations. Consideration for funding is based upon the project’s ecological benefits, educational and training opportunities for students, and social and economic benefits to the community.
Since 1999, Five Star has supported nearly 400 projects in all 50 States, DC, two territories, and several Tribes and has engaged over 18,000 volunteers and students while restoring over 8,200 acres of wetlands and around 95 miles of streams. In addition to federal funding, Southern Company has joined the Five Star partnership with a five-year, $1.2 million contribution to support restoration projects.