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Water: 5 Star Wetland Restoration & Grants

5 Star Restoration Program Fact Sheet

The Five Star Restoration Program brings together students, conservation corps, other youth organizations, citizen groups, corporations, landowners and government agencies to provide  environmental education through projects that restore streambanks and wetlands.  The program provides challenge grants, technical support, and opportunities for information exchange to enable community-based restoration projects.

The Five Star Restoration Program was established so the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can work with its partners for education through community-based wetlands restoration projects in watersheds across the U.S.   The National Association of Counties, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Wildlife Habitat Council have joined together with EPA for this effort.  Funding for the program is provided by  EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, and by the National Marine Fisheries Service's  Community-based Restoration Program for selected projects in coastal areas.


The Five Star Challenge Grants Program develops  knowledge and skills in young people through restoration projects that involve multiple and diverse partners, including local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools, youth organizations, and environmental organizations.  Its objective is to engage five or more partners in each project to contribute funding, land, technical assistance, workforce support or other in-kind services that match the program's funding assistance.  Consideration for funding is based upon the project's educational and training opportunities for students and at-risk youth, the ecological benefits to be derived, and the project's social and economic benefits to the community.

EPA's funding levels are modest, averaging about $10,000 per project.  However, when combined with the contributions of partners, projects that make a meaningful contribution to  communities become possible.  At the completion of Five Star projects, each partnership will have experience and a demonstrated record of accomplishment, and will be well-positioned to take on other projects.  Aggregating over time and space, these grassroots efforts will make a significant contribution to our environmental landscape and to the understanding of the importance of healthy wetlands and streams in our communities.


Since FY99, over 250 projects have been selected from 1,000 applications, involving over 5,000 grass roots organizations in all 50 States and from several Tribes.   Additional funding sources are being sought to respond to this overwhelming level of interest.   For a contribution between $5,000 and $20,000, other organizations can sponsor a Five Star project.  This is a particularly good opportunity for groups that seek to leverage their investments.  On average, for each dollar of sponsor funds, five additional dollars in matching contributions will be provided by restoration partners in funding, labor, materials, equipment or in-kind services.  Five Star projects often provide sponsoring organizations with recognition through events such as dedication ceremonies, community work days, and by listing their names on bronze site markers.

If you are interested in information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Myra Price (price.myra@epa.gov), 202-566-1225.


Visit our web site for more information: 5 Star Restoration Program

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