Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership $1,376,029 for their School Stormwater Reduction Program. This effort is targeted at reducing stormwater and improving water quality at public school parking lots and school yards, and promoting better engagement with school communities.
“A clean Columbia River Basin is essential to the health of our region, and protecting this important waterway requires partnerships between government, school, and community organizations,” said Senator Merkley. “This EPA funding will help Oregon schools and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership address the impact of dangerous toxics from parking lots and help expand community buy-in for green solutions that protect the Columbia River.”
“This federal investment in the Columbia River Basin supports a standout local collaboration that’s providing a textbook example of how to team up to strengthen water quality,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership has secured these funds to reduce toxics, and I’ll keep battling for similar resources that continue to protect this signature waterway for generations to come.”
This EPA funding will help the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership work with community partners to design and build green infrastructure, as well as create stormwater-focused community education and outreach to help the public take actions to reduce toxics in the Basin.
This funding is provided through the Columbia River Restoration Program, which Merkley created in 2016 to help improve water quality and reduce pollution throughout the Columbia River Basin.