WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is awarding $1 million in grants to “strengthen the capacity” of tribes and states to restore and protect wetlands, according to a press release.

The National Wetland Program Development Grants supply intertribal consortia, interstate agencies and nonprofit organizations with funding to develop and improve comprehensive tribal, local and state wetland programs, stated the release.

Six proposals have received the award, and all proposed projects must link to environmental results and “demonstrate how they will contribute to developing healthy communities and ecosystems,” noted the release.

“Wetlands are part of the foundation of our nation's water resources and are vital to the health of waterways and communities that are downstream,” said EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Ken Kopocis. “Wetlands feed downstream waters, trap floodwaters, recharge groundwater supplies, remove pollution and provide fish and wildlife habitat. Wetlands are also economic drivers because of their key role in fishing, hunting, agriculture and recreation.”

Read the entire release, and learn about the six selected proposals, here.