A new federal partnership aims to stimulate regional and local economies, create local jobs, improve quality of life, and protect Americans’ health by revitalizing urban waterways in under-served communities across the country.
Urban waters impact large populations in the adjacent, upstream, and downstream communities. Reconnecting people with urban waterways results in economic, environmental and social benefits to communities. Healthy and accessible urban waters have the potential to be treasured centerpieces of urban revival, help grow local businesses and enhance educational, recreational, and social opportunities in the communities through which they pass. Many urban waters provide drinking water to cities and towns, but because they may receive pollution from sources like parking lot and roadway runoff, they become vital to protecting the public and environmental health of those communities.
The Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP), an innovative federal union comprised of 11 agencies, will focus its initial efforts on seven pilot locations. UWFP is committed to working with local communities to restore waterways and reconnect people in underserved communities with their rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays, and oceans. Specifically, UWFP aims to:
- Break down federal program silos to promote more efficient and effective use of federal resources through better coordination and targeting of federal investments.
- Recognize and build on local efforts and leadership, by engaging and serving community partners.
- Work with local officials and effective community-based organizations to leverage area resources and stimulate local economies to create local jobs.
- Learn from early and visible victories to fuel long-term action.
- This partnership aligns with President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, which calls on agencies to support innovative community efforts to provide safe, healthy and accessible outdoor spaces.