Feds Join Effort to Restore Grand River in Downtown Grand Rapids

Posted at 12:57 AM, May 10, 2013

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A major announcement is expected Friday afternoon in front of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, detailing how the city has been added to a federal program that restores urban waterways.

According to a press release obtained by FOX 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of the Interior and other federal, state and local partners, will announce that the Urban Waters Federal Partnership is adding 11 new locations and two new federal partner agencies to restore waterways, help local economies, create jobs and protect Americans’ health.  The announcement is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the Ford Presidential Museum.

This is part of Grand Rapids Whitewater’s ongoing effort to ‘Restore the Grand Rapids’ downtown.  The multi-million dollar project has recently been endorsed by Governor Rick Snyder in his State of the State address.

According to the EPA’s media release, “The Urban Waters Federal Partnership works to reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts to improve our Nation’s water systems and promote their economic, environmental and social benefits.”

The following are the officials who will be present for Friday’s announcement:

Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality
Bob Perciasepe, Acting Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Charlie Wooley, Deputy Regional Director, U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Rich Sims, Northeast Regional Conservationist, U.S. Department of Agriculture
George Heartwell, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
Chris Muller, Grand Rapids Whitewater co-founder 
Mike VanGessel, Grand River Stakeholder Group Co-Chair

Be sure to watch FOX 17 News and continue checking back here for further updates.