The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program seeks to develop nation-wide-community stewardship of local natural resources, preserving these resources for future generations and enhancing habitat for local wildlife. Projects seek to address water quality issues in priority watersheds, such as erosion due to unstable streambanks, pollution from stormwater runoff, and degraded shorelines caused by development.
The program focuses on the stewardship and restoration of coastal, wetland and riparian ecosystems across the country. Its goal is to meet the conservation needs of important species and habitats, providing measurable and meaningful conservation and educational outcomes. The program requires the establishment and/or enhancement of diverse partnerships and an education/outreach component that will help shape and sustain behavior to achieve conservation goals.
Funding priorities for this program include:
- On-the-ground wetland, riparian, in-stream and/or coastal habitat restoration
- Meaningful education and training activities, either through community outreach, participation and/or integration with K-12 environmental curriculum
- Measurable ecological, educational and community benefits
- Partnerships: Five Star projects should engage a diverse group of community partners to achieve ecological and educational outcomes.
To date, the Foundation has funded over 500 projects in 50 states, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands through this program. More than $10.8 million in grants has leveraged more than $30.8 million in other funds or donated services.
Major funding for this project is provided by NFWF's partnerships with EPA, the US Forest Service, Southern Company and FedEx.