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Water: 5 Star Wetland Restoration & Grants

Benton and Franklin Counties, Washington


Five-Star Restoration Program Descriptions

Benton Franklin Private Industry Council Five Star Partnership Project
Benton and Franklin Counties, Washington
EPA Region 10

Communities in southeastern Washington state designated 1998 the "Year of the River," giving Benton and Franklin Counties and the cities of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick the opportunity to engage in numerous activities focused on the Columbia River. The Benton Franklin Private Industry Council (PIC), which administers the Job Training Partnership Act Summer Youth Employment Program, partnered with the Washington State Migrant Council and others to provide an exciting job and educational experience for eleven disadvantaged young people.

Funds for the project were provided by a $10,000 Five Star Restoration Partnership grant from the National Association of Counties and Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds. Along with the Benton Franklin PIC, the Washington State Migrant Council's Youth Works '98 Summer Program partnered with Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories (Battelle), the Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science and Technology Museum, the Franklin County Road 54 Boat Launch and Park Restoration Project and the Columbia Cup Water Follies Association.

Each of the partners brought unique experiences to the project and gave the youth opportunities to work in a variety of settings. The students' work with each of the partners included field work, environmental education and job skills training, including problem solving and team building exercises.

The partners also provided matching funds and in-kind services to triple the total project budget. The Washington State Migrant Council used the Five Star grant funds to hire crew leaders and supervisors and pay additional transportation costs.

Several of the students worked with Battelle's Student Research and Apprenticeship Program that provides exposure to the fields of science, math and technology. The program is usually reserved for "top" students, and Batelle staff supervising the summer youth were genuinely surprised and impressed by how well the disadvantaged young people worked. The students' projects included ecological risk and toxicology studies of wetland habitats along the Columbia and Yakima Rivers; aquatic biology and ecology field-work; and research on Bobwhite quail reproductive and feeding strategies.

Some of the students worked on shoreline stabilization and riparian restoration at the Road 54 Boat Launch and Park located in the city of Pasco. The students used problem solving and team building techniques to resolve multiple-use resource issues at the park. Another crew of students performed similar tasks at a park where the annual Columbia Cup Water Follies takes place.

EPA Grant Amount: $ 10,000
Contact Information: Michelle Mann
Executive Director
Benton-Franklin Private Industry Council
6515 W. Clearwater
Suite 236
Kennewick, WA 99336
Phone: (509) 735-8543
Fax: (509) 783-5102
Email: bfpic@oneworld.owt.com

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