Grant funding will implement programs addressing pollution
The U.S. EPA awarded $959,049 to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) to protect the environment and human health. According to an EPA news release, the project will restore a fishery, improve water quality and rehabilitate lakes. The grant implements programs addressing pollution in surface and groundwater that meets and maintains water quality standards.
A main priority for the Utah Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife Resources is restoring the Blue Ribbon fishery. According to EPA, one goal is to return Pelican Lake to Blue Ribbon fishery status. Director of Utah’s Water Quality Division Erica Gaddis said the Pelican Lake project is an example of people working together to improve water quality. The team developed a plan and secured the needed funding, allowing the Utah Water Quality Division to implement the project on a larger scale that the division could on its own.
“EPA is partnering with UDEQ and other partners to restore the water quality and the Blue Ribbon fishery of Pelican Lake,” said Gregory Sopkin, EPA regional administrator, according to the EPA release. “The water quality of our lakes and streams across the west is a high priority and by working together on these projects, our impact is greater.”
The Pelican Lake Rehabilitation project will receive the largest portion of the grant, $426,000. According to EPA, in recent decades the lake has deteriorated due to elevate pH and phosphorous. This has resulted in the decline of catch rates and fish size.
"We look forward to restoring Pelican Lake as a great fishing destination for Utahns and visitors from across the U.S. to enjoy," said Mike Fowlks, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. "These partnerships and grants are so important in helping improve habitats so that wildlife can thrive."