EPA awards $60K to Martín Peña effort
The ENLACE Project is among 46 organizations in 32 states and Puerto Rico selected by the EPA to receive grants ranging from $30,280 to $60,000, totaling $2.7 million for projects that will contribute to improving water quality and community revitalization.
The goal of these Urban Waters Small Grants is to fund research, studies, training, and demonstration projects that will advance the restoration of urban waters by improving water quality through activities that also support community revitalization and other local priorities. The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program, which supports communities in their efforts to access, improve, and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land.
EPA received nearly 600 applications in response to this funding opportunity. Many noteworthy proposals were reviewed but, due to the funding availability, EPA was not able to fund all the worthy proposals that were submitted.
ENLACE will promote an understanding of the environmental degradation of the estuarine tidal channel and will continue to engage the community in its restoration and in claiming their right to a healthy environment through education for critical consciousness and democratic action.
The mission of ENLACE is to rehabilitate the Martín Peña Channel and its bordering communities by building partnerships between the communities and the public and private sector. ENLACE has established and implemented a land use and comprehensive development plan that works to improve social, economic, and environmental conditions for eight communities in the Cano Martín Peña Special Planning District.
The channel is a 3.5-mile long natural tidal channel located in the heart of the San Juan National Estuary. It provides a connection between the San Juan Bay and the San José Lagoon. Impoverished residents who migrated to San Juan during the first half of the 20th century built their houses in the mangroves bordering the canal. For decades, the canal has struggled with urban poverty and environmental degradation.