Today, Rep. Greg Stanton and Peter Meijer of Michigan introduced the bipartisan Urban Waters Federal Partnership Act, legislation to formally authorize an Environmental Protection Agency-led partnership that supports improvements to water systems and drives urban renewal.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership works to reconnect communities to open spaces, as well as spur private investment and job creation. The Rio Reimagined project in metro Phoenix was officially added to the partnership in September 2020.

“The revitalization of the Rio Salado is one of the most consequential projects in our state today, and I’m incredibly proud––first as a mayor and now as a member of Congress––to have worked on it for more than a decade now,” said Stanton. “The support of the federal government is critical to restore this ecosystem, protect our water supply and provide continued opportunities for economic growth.”

The Grand River project in Grand Rapids, MI, was added to the partnership in 2013.

“In our own backyard, we are fortunate to have the Grand River watershed. The ongoing efforts to restore our urban waterway has already demonstrated positive effects in our community—from jobs to outdoor recreation, the Grand River project is an excellent example of how the Urban Waters Federal Partnership can help propel critical revitalization efforts. I am proud to lead this bipartisan effort with Rep Stanton. These funds will help support ongoing projects and ensure more communities across the country can be reconnected to their waterways,” said Meijer.

During his time as Phoenix mayor, Stanton worked with Sen. John McCain, Rep. Ed Pastor, other Valley mayors and tribal leaders to rehabilitate the Salt River. Under Stanton’s leadership, Phoenix made many investments along the river, including funding a $120 million project to turn the swath of riverbed between 24th Street and 19th Avenue into a riparian area and restoring the Tres Rios Wetlands, a 700-acre wetland and tertiary water reclamation facility.

Stanton—the only Arizona member on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure—has continued his advocacy in Congress. In the 2020 Water Resources Development Act, Stanton successfully included a provision that directs the Corps of Engineers to expedite completion of a report necessary to continue construction of the Tres Rios ecosystem restoration project. This year, he secured $1.8 million in Community Project Funding to support this critical report.

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and John Cornyn of Texas introduced companion legislation in the Senate.