Denver Area Watershed Projects Receive $120K in EPA Grants

Denver-area projects among $2.1M to revitalize urban waters


DENVER – The City and County of Denver and Groundwork Denver will receive $60,000 each for watershed projects along the South Platte River, Bear Creek, and Cherry Creek as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Urban Waters program.  Today, EPA is awarding $2.1 million to 37 organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico to help protect and restore urban waters, improve water quality, and support community revitalization and other local priorities. EPA’s Urban Waters program supports communities in their efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas.

Groundwork Denver
South Platte Watershed—Denver and Sheridan, Colorado
Groundwork Denver will develop a Community Stewardship Network, which is expected to improve the water quality of and accessibility to the area surrounding Bear Creek. A key component of this project is the Master River Steward Job Training program, which will engage youth from Denver and Sheridan. These stewards will participate in water quality sampling and engage the broader community through education, outreach, stewardship activities, and recreation activities in the watershed. Outputs—including job training hours, water quality samples collected, households and businesses reached, volunteer hours, and stakeholders joining a Community Stewardship Network—will be tracked.

Award Amount: $60,000


Denver Department of Public Works, Wastewater Management

South Platte Watershed—Denver Metropolitan Area, Colorado
The Denver Department of Public Works, Wastewater Management, will continue and expand the Keep It Clean-Neighborhood Environmental Trios (KIC-NET) outdoor classroom model developed by environmental education nonprofit, Earth Force, in impaired South Platte River and tributary watersheds. The program is expected to help meet pollutant source mitigation needs to protect the South Platte River and Cherry Creek Watersheds while adding value to communities and schools.

Award Amount: $60,000


“People, buildings, and businesses are all concentrated in urban areas, making it even more important to protect waterways from pollution.” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “These communities will receive grants, allowing them to help turn these waterways into centerpieces of urban renewal, spurring economic development and job creation.”

EPA is awarding grants ranging from $40,000 to $60,000 for projects taking place in areas that align with the 18 designated Urban Waters Federal Partnership locations.  The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is made up of 13 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts.  All funded projects work to advance environmental justice in their communities and focus on one of the following three categories:  community greening and green infrastructure, communities and water quality data, and integration of water quality and community development in planning.

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets, and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance economic, educational, recreational and social opportunities in nearby communities. By reconnecting communities to their local urban waters, EPA will help communities to actively participate in restoring urban waters while improving their neighborhoods.

Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program:

Information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership:

To view a list of the selected projects that will be funded, visit


Stacey Eriksen, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6692,

Richard Mylott, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6654;