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EPA AWARDS A $165,000 WETLANDS GRANT TO NEW YORK STATE

 EPA AWARDS A $165,000 WETLANDS GRANT TO NEW YORK STATE
 NEW YORK, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 office today awarded a $165,000 grant to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for its proposed project to study wetlands loss. The New York State project, a Wetlands Status and Trends Analysis, will serve as a model for measuring changes in wetlands in New York.
 "These grants give EPA the opportunity to support the efforts of states in the area of wetlands protection," said Constantine Sidamon- Eristoff, EPA Region 2 administrator. "State programs are an integral part of the national effort to preserve wetlands -- one of our most precious resources."
 One part of New York State's Status and Trends Analysis project will focus on the relationship between wetlands and agriculture. Many historical wetlands losses can be attributed to agriculture, but the trend appears to have changed. The study will also assess the loss of freshwater wetlands in parcels less than 12.4 acres (below the size threshold of the State Freshwater Wetlands Act) and the loss of freshwater wetlands in parcels greater than 12.4 acres, where state jurisdiction exists. Finally, the study will look at regional differences in gains and losses of wetlands.
 New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Thomas C. Jorling said, "Wetlands are vital ecosystems in New York State. If we are to ensure that they will survive in our state, we must identify what the problems are and where these problems exist. We can then work with landowners, local governments, farmers and businesses to protect this precious resource."
 New York State hopes to learn the causes of change in the wetlands resource, and assess whether the current protection program in New York State addresses those problems, or whether state wetlands protection initiatives should be modified. In addition, the state will use the information to fine tune its existing wetlands protection program.
 In addition to the NYSDEC grant, EPA awarded four separate grants to New Jersey. Three were awarded to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) and the fourth was awarded to the New Jersey State Pinelands Commission (NJSPC). The grants total $242,250.
 Since the early 1980s, EPA has encouraged the development of state wetlands programs. In 1991, Congress, through EPA, provided funds for grants to 40 states, seven Indian Tribes and one Territory for 60 projects to help state agencies develop wetlands protection programs. This year, Congress appropriated $7 million to support this grant program, which reflects a 40 percent increase over last years allotment.
 -0- 10/5/92
 /CONTACT: Mary Breitenbach of the EPA, 212-264-2515/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; New York State Department of
 Environmental Conservation ST: New York IN: SU:


LR-PS -- NY035 -- 6501 10/05/92 10:37 EDT
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Date:Oct 5, 1992
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