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Urban Waters

About the Urban Waters Movement

Building a Movement One Partnership at a Time

As part of the Urban Waters Movement, EPA is seeking to help communities — especially underserved communities — as they work to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Whether as part of a cleanup leading to waterfront development or putting monitoring in place to ensure safe drinking water, community groups across the country have taken the initiative, engaging volunteers, community organizations, and local and state government to make their waters safe for many uses.

Read more about Urban Waters community/EPA partnerships.

EPA's Role

By more effectively leveraging existing programs, EPA aims to support projects and build partnerships with a variety of federal, state, tribal, and local partners that foster increased connection, understanding, and stewardship of local waterways.

By promoting public access to urban waters, EPA will help communities become active participants in restoration and protection. By linking water to other community priorities, EPA will help to sustain that involvement.

We will work with people in communities, especially those in urban watersheds, to improve the health of the water and the land while addressing community priorities. Together, we will use the visibility urban settings offer to showcase innovative approaches that can be adapted in surrounding areas.

EPA, working with our federal partners and community stakeholders, will:

  • align our and other federal government programs and investments in these communities;
  • expand partnerships;
  • build local capacity; and
  • find innovative ways to communicate the environmental and economic potential of safe and clean urban waters.

EPA's approach in achieving these goals is outlined in the Urban Waters Strategic Framework (PDF)

A Virtual Community Center:

Here's where you come in. EPA created this website as a hub for communities and organizations working to improve water quality and access to gather and share information. We've assembled a number of tools to help you spread the word about the work your community or organization is engaged in to help urban waters, or to learn from the work of others.

Whether you're sharing a story of a successful cleanup effort, strategies for organizing volunteers, tactics for spreading your message, or just getting ideas, we welcome your input and insights.

Follow Urban Waters efforts and spread the word through social media!

  • Keep up with the Urban Waters Movement on EPA's Blog.
  • Get the buzz about the next generation of water protection in the Mid-Atlantic region on the Healthy Waters blog.
  • Check out the discussion about protecting and restoring urban waters on Twitter.
  • Join the conversation about the value of fresh water on EPA's Water Facebook page.