EPA funding to protect wetlands, collect environmental data in NY state

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NEW YORK, NY, Dec. 10, 2013 -- New funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will help the state of New York better protect wetlands and identify strategies to deal with its changing climate.

The EPA has awarded over $345,000 to the New York State Adirondack Park Agency (Agency) and The College of Environmental Science and Forestry. The Agency will use a $173,167 EPA grant to install permanent monitoring stations that will collect environmental data within the park and to train volunteers to operate their own citizen science monitoring program at these locations.

Accordingly, citizen scientist teams comprising local community members will use this data to assist the Adirondack Park Agency in evaluating the influence of climate change on wetlands within the park. This information will help the Agency manage its wetland protection programs and continue to adapt to the effects of climate change. The Agency and its partners will contribute $61,148 toward the total cost of this project.

The College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in partnership with the New York Natural Heritage Program, will also use a $172,070 grant to assess the status of plants found in wetlands throughout the state. Information about the abundance and distribution of plant species contributes to the evaluation of wetland conditions. Likewise, information on the wetlands plants will be used by agencies and organizations involved in wetland management, protection and restoration to better understand the health of New York's wetlands. The College and the Natural Heritage Program will contribute $67,276 toward the total cost of this project.

"Wetlands provide enormous economic environmental and flood protection benefits, but they are threatened by development and the impacts of climate change in many areas of New York State," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "Wetlands reduce and filter runoff that pollutes local waterways, serve as essential habitats for fish and wildlife, reduce the effects of climate change and protect against flooding by absorbing stormwater. EPA funding will enhance the ability to assess and protect New York's wetlands."

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