The U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) have announced four pilot projects to promote cleanup and restoration for the following urban rivers: the Passaic River in New Jersey, the Gowanus Canal in New York, Fourche Creek in Arkansas, and City Creek in Utah. EPA and the Corps signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in July 2002 committing them to a partnership for restoration of degraded urban rivers.
"These rivers are invaluable resources," said EPA's Acting Administrator Marianne Lamont Horinko, "and these grants will help revitalize them, improving environmental and public health protection, and bringing new life to the cities they nourish."
"These projects also will enhance the economic life along these rivers," said Maj. Gen. Robert Griffin, Acting Director of Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "They are excellent examples of successful integration of Corps and EPA activities and they represent a win-win solution to moving forward on advancing the cleanup of these valuable water resources."
The four pilot projects were selected through a competitive process for their plans to emphasize partnerships among many organizations; promote collaboration within the watershed among businesses and the nonprofit community; and advance pollution prevention, water quality improvements, restoration of wildlife habitat and promote reuse.
The Passaic River is located in northeastern New Jersey, including Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic Counties; the Gowanus Canal is a highly developed urban area located in the Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York; Fourche Creek is located within the City of Little Rock, Arkansas, in Pulaski County; and City Creek/Gateway District is located within the City of Salt Lake City, Utah and is a tributary of the Jordan River.
The projects are intended to focus on water quality improvement, cleanup of contaminated sediments and human and animal habitat restoration.
For more information on the MOU and the Urban Rivers Restoration Initiative, visit www.usace.army.mil/inet/functions/cw/hot_topics/urban_rivers.htm  or www.epa.gov/oswer/landrevitalization/urbanrivers .