Capito: Federal grants totaling $2.5 million to fund abandoned mine reclamation in national park

WASHINGTON, DC (WOAY) – The Department of Interior has announced several grants for the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve that focus on the restoration and hazard mitigation of abandoned mine sites.

The grants add up to over $2.5 million.

$1.45 million will be used to restore 500 acres of land that spans 16 abandoned mine sites within the park. The money will address land that is currently unable to support native forests due to mining.

There is also significant erosion and sedimentation happening on the land.

Another $420,000 will fund the park service’s efforts to stabilize and restore coke ovens. The park service will also mitigate any remaining hazards.

$460,000 will be spent on coalfield restoration research to improve the water quality and health of wildlife in the waterways around abandoned mine sites.

The research will inform future projects.

Lastly, $21,000 will fund the removal of old mining equipment and debris along a three-mile stretch of mine bench in the Gauley River National Recreation Area.

“I was proud to work with the NPS to secure resources that will advance our goal of making the New River Gorge a place for visitors from across West Virginia, and the country, a destination for generations to come. I encourage everyone to visit the Gorge to see firsthand its natural beauty and everything it offers,” Senator Shelley Moore Capito said.

Additionally, Capito said that the Department of Justice is sending $450,000 to the city of Bluefield to improve youth services in the city.

The improvements will target the youth between the ages of 4-18, with a special priority on the Black population.

There is a special emphasis placed on youth at risk of becoming part of the juvenile justice system by focusing on treatment, prevention, and diversion.

“This grant will equip Bluefield with resources that will help make the community safer and set our younger population on a path to reach their full potential. I was proud to deliver these resources that will be used towards efforts that prevent crime and provide more paths to success for our young people,” Capito said.

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