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Council on Environmental Quality
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Conserving America’s Wetlands 2007:
Three Years of Progress
Implementing the President’s Goal

Appendix H.
Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Programs Supporting the President’s Wetlands Goal

Five Star Challenge Grants Program: EPA and its partners—National Fish and Wildlife Federation, National Association of Counties, Southern Company, and Wildlife Habitat Council—have helped catalyze over 400 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each year, 50 to 60 grants of $5,000 to $20,000 are awarded. The purpose of the Five Star Restoration Program is to support community-based efforts to restore wetlands, river streams/corridors, and coastal habitat; build diverse partnerships within the community; and foster local stewardship of resources through outreach.

National Estuary Program (NEP): This program works to restore and protect these sensitive and vital ecosystems. The NEP provides funding and technical assistance to citizens, governments, businesses, researchers, and organizations in local communities to create and implement plans they develop collectively. These plans address problems facing their estuaries, such as excess nutrients, pathogens, toxic chemicals, introduced species, overfishing, and habitat loss and degradation. With its partners, the NEP works to safeguard the health of some of our Nation’s most productive natural resources and transfers the lessons learned to other watersheds.

Nonpoint Source Management Plan: Under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, states, territories, and Indian tribes receive grant money that supports a wide variety of activities, including technical assistance, financial assistance, education, training, technology transfer, demonstration projects, and monitoring to assess the success of specific nonpoint-source implementation projects, some of which include wetlands restoration projects.

EPA Programs that Maintain the Wetlands Base Wetlands Grants Program: The EPA annually has provided $16 million to states, local governments, tribes, and nongovernmental organizations to strengthen and build comprehensive non-Federal regulatory and nonregulatory wetlands programs. FY 2008 funding request is $16.8 million.

Clean Water Act Section 404 Program: EPA and USACE share regulatory responsibility pursuant to CWA Section 404. EPA and USACE establish the regulations and policies for implementation of the program, including development and implementation of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines. The guidelines establish the substantive environmental criteria used to evaluate applications for permits to discharge under Section 404. FY 2008 funding request is $21.5 million.

Ecological Research Program: One of several components of this Office of Research and Development program, the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) conducts research on the design, methods, and analysis used in the assessment of the ecological quality of the Nation’s waters, including wetlands. EMAP partners with states and tribes to demonstrate how assessments of wetland condition can be conducted and how the results can be used to report on the effectiveness of protection and restoration actions. EMAP currently has $1.1 million in pending awards for assessments of wetland condition in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, and has set aside $1 million of FY 2007–2008 dollars to fund wetland projects in states in the Midwest and West. In addition, technical assistance is being provided in support of the 2011 National Wetland Survey, including the funding of a pilot assessment of coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico region. Other technical assistance, including transfer of research and training, is being provided to states and tribes to aid in the development of wetland monitoring and assessment programs. The overall research program will also increasingly focus on the ecosystem services provided by wetlands at multiple scales within the context of their condition.

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