WASHINGTON — EPA is funding $2.1 million to help protect and restore urban waters, support community revitalization, enhance water quality and other local priorities, to 37 organizations in 17 states and Puerto Rico, according to a release.

Funds are being supplied through EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in effort to improve, access and benefit from their surrounding land and urban waters, such as rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans, stated the release.

Grants up to $60,000 are being awarded for projects occurring in regions that align with the 18 designated locations of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, which consists of 13 federal agencies working to connect urban communities with their waterways, noted the release.

Working to advance environmental justice in their communities, these funded projects also focus on one of three focal points: communities and water quality data, community greening and green infrastructure or integration of water quality and community development in planning, continued the release.

“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 in the release. “These communities will receive grants, allowing them to help turn these waterways into centerpieces of urban renewal, spurring economic development and job creation.”

Find the entire press release here.