Demand for green infrastructure projects higher than ever

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• Maryland and New York stand out as leaders

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 28, 2010 -- A new report issued by American Rivers analyzes how the $1.2 billion of green water infrastructure funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent. According to a new report, "Putting Green to Work: Economic Recovery Investments for Clean and Reliable Water," demand for green infrastructure projects has never been higher. The report highlights case studies and makes recommendations for how to best leverage future spending for clean and reliable water.

States nationwide used more than the 20 percent required by law and demand for these Green Project Reserve funds was well above what was available. Of the 19 states studied for the report, Maryland stands out as exemplary, with the highest percentage (64 percent) of green projects. Other strong states include New York and Rhode Island, where over 40 percent of green reserve-funded projects added elements such as wetlands, green roofs and water efficiency to existing, centralized water infrastructure.

This funding for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, and environmental innovation represented the first, decisive step in a much needed shift in water management. Moving toward green infrastructure offers innovative, cost-effective approaches that will bring water management into the 21st century. With climate change bringing more frequent and severe floods and droughts, the need for reliable, flexible green infrastructure solutions is greater than ever.

American Rivers is leading work nationally to ensure that implementing green infrastructure becomes a part of the norm for small towns and large cities alike.

"Achieving a vision of thriving communities and healthy rivers will require moving green infrastructure from an 'innovative' practice to a mainstream practice, in part by continuing to fund these smart investments," says Katherine Baer, Senior Director, Clean Water Program. "Green infrastructure is simply the cost-effective and reliable way for communities to secure clean water, flood protection, and other vital benefits now and into the future."

Report available at www.americanrivers.org/greenfunding.

American Rivers is the leading conservation organization fighting for healthy rivers so communities can thrive. American Rivers protects and restores America's rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters, with offices in Washington, DC and nationwide.

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