A new federal partnership aims 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. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) comprises 11 agencies and will focus its initial efforts on seven pilot locations, each of which already have a strong restoration effort underway.
Led by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and coordinated by the White House Domestic Policy Council, the UWFP closely aligns with and advances the work of the other White House efforts such as the Partnership for Sustainable Communities by revitalizing communities, creating jobs and improving the qualities of life in cities and towns across the nation.
The partnership also supports President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative aimed at making the Federal Government a better partner with communities that are working to provide safe, healthy and accessible outdoor spaces. Like these other efforts, the UWFP represents another example of how the administration is promoting more efficient and effective use of federal resources through better coordination and targeting of federal investments.
U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, Council for Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the partnership along the Patapsco River in Baltimore last week where they participated in environmental education activities with Baltimore students.
Cleaning up and restoring water resources is essential to protecting Americans’ health and improving their overall quality of life. Revitalizing these urban waterways will also reconnect citizens to open spaces, and will have a positive economic impact on local businesses, tourism and property values, as well as spur private investment and job creation in these communities.