Riverkeeper Awarded Pollution Prevention Grant

EPA awards Columbia Riverkeeper $91,000 for pollution prevention outreach and education

With new funding support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , Columbia Riverkeeper is launching The Columbia Gorge Pollution Prevention Education and Outreach Project. This project will educate and inspire students and community members to prevent pollution discharges. We will help to reduce toxic pollution in the mid-Columbia through educational programming on how pollution prevention protects water quality in the Columbia River, specific actions individuals and communities can take to prevent pollution from reaching the Columbia, and how riparian zones protect water quality and offer habitat. Specifically, this grant will allow us to provide high-quality, online, field- and classroom-based pollution prevention education to community members and students from diverse communities in the Columbia River Gorge. We’re building upon  Columbia Riverkeeper’s successful two-year-old Nichols Natural Area Education Program, which reached over 1500 students in 2018 and 2019. 

“We’re excited to be among the first round of recipients to receive this grant. It’s great to see federal funding focused on our basin to support large-scale restoration, research, and education projects,” said Columbia Riverkeeper Water Quality Director Lorri Epstein. “This funding will allow Riverkeeper to expand our existing Nichols Natural Area program to educate students and community members on how to prevent pollution and protect and restore the water quality of the Columbia River.”

EPA awarded $2,053,903 in grants to 14 organizations, universities, and government agencies to reduce and assess toxics affecting the Columbia River Basin watershed. The grants are the first from the Columbia River Basin Restoration Funding Assistance Program which was established by Congress in 2016 in part to reduce toxics that have long affected the health of the waters throughout the basin. Human activities have significantly altered the Columbia River Basin’s ecosystem where dozens of local, state, tribal, and federal agencies, universities, conservation districts, community groups, and NGOs have spent decades mitigating impacts on fish and wildlife.

For more about the Columbia River Basin Restoration Program, as well as to read summaries of each grant recipient’s work, please visit the EPA website.