University of Nebraska-Lincoln Obtains "Green" Grant

(Kansas City, Kan., July 10, 2012) - EPA is providing a $59,876 urban waters grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to evaluate the effectiveness of  the Saddle Hills neighborhood's green infrastructure in metropolitan Omaha, Neb.

UNL and partners, including the City of Omaha and the Nebraska Forest Service, will assess green infrastructure practices by creating a water quality assessment database and developing a stormwater mobile application for smartphones and mobile devices. The application will allow users, such as local residents, youth, master gardeners and city staff, to learn about ways to reduce stormwater runoff. 

"Green infrastructure and stormwater management strategies play a critical role in water quality improvement by reducing runoff that carries multiple contaminants into streams and rivers," said Karl Brooks, regional administrator. "The project will empower community residents and land owners to look at stormwater as an asset rather than a waste product, and will increase public awareness and grassroots participation through workshops about urban water quality."

The funding is part of EPA's Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from urban waters and surrounding land.

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, economic, recreational, employment and social opportunities in nearby communities. By promoting public access to urban waterways, EPA will help communities become active participants in restoring urban waters while improving and protecting their neighborhoods. 

EPA's Urban Waters program supports the goals and principles of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a partnership of 12 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts.

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