ANCHORAGE - Alaska communities have an opportunity to jump start their green infrastructure planning efforts to prevent water pollution and improve water quality due to a new grant program supported by economic recovery funds.
The Department of Environmental Conservation received stimulus funds for Water Quality Management Planning and has made $80,000 available in the form of grants to communities for green infrastructure planning. Because the stimulus funds are required to be spent quickly, DEC is partnering with the Department of Natural Resources Community Forestry Program to distribute the grants.
Green infrastructure mitigates the pollution caused by stormwater runoff by using soils and vegetation to infiltrate, evaporate and recycle polluted stormwater runoff. It includes practices such as porous pavements, vegetated swales, and other uses of vegetation to intercept, reduce and treat stormwater and pollutants.
"Protecting our watersheds and associated forestland helps support healthy communities and strong local economies," said State Forester Chris Maisch. "We hope these grants will help communities create or save jobs while taking steps to improve water quality and protect human health and the environment."
Applications are now available and are due to DNR by January 20, 2010.
Communities interested in the grants may get a copyof the application and moreinformation at: www.forestry.alaska.gov/community/grants.htm or they may contact Patricia Joyner, DNR's Community Forestry Program coordinator at (907) 269-8465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.