HARRISBURG — The Department of Environmental Protection announced recently it will invest in 73 watershed protection projects intended to improve watersheds, stormwater runoff, acid mine drainage and educational programs, among other environmental efforts.
This year, the Growing Greener program, which is funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, will award $9.72 million for 57 projects around the state. An additional project, funded by the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Grant, will cost $72,912.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program, which was created through the federal Clean Water Act to help reduce water pollution from nonpoint sources, is funding 15 additional projects, which would total $3.12 million.
These projects will reduce nonpoint source pollution in watersheds where streams are impaired by implementing agricultural and stormwater best-management practices; developing, repairing or installing passive systems to treat abandoned mine drainage; and supporting the establishment of riparian buffers, among other goals.
Some examples of priority areas are restoration activities to reduce pollutant load in impaired watersheds for which total maximum daily loads have been developed; projects in priority watersheds that would reduce the source of impairment; and priority activities that lead to water quality restoration and protection.
In this latest grant round, 130 applicants request about $24.5 million.
Western Pa. projects receiving funding include:
• Allegheny — Pine Creek Land Conservation Trust, Crouse Run Stream, $60,000; Borough of Crafton, Clearview Avenue Drainage, $298,704; Borough of Jefferson Hills, Peters Creek Stream, $70,000; South Fayette Conservation Group, Fishing Run Stream, $259,495; Allegheny County Conservation District, Allegheny County Watersheds, $24,935.
• Armstrong — Armstrong Conservation District, Carnahan Run Stream, $121,891.
• Erie — Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Walnut Creek, $82,250; Environment Erie, Walnut Creek, $38,500; Girard Township, Culbertson Drive Stormwater, $195,840; Penn State Behrend, Behrend Stormwater, $36,495.
• Somerset — Somerset Conservation District, Jimtown Stream Bank Stabilization and Habitat Improvement Project, $60,000.
• Venango — Venango Conservation District, Lower Two Miles Run Stormwater, $150,846
• Washington — City of Washington, Catfish Creek, $250,000.
• Westmoreland — Jacobs Creek Watershed Association, Shupe Run, $60,000.
The remaining projects, listed alphabetically, are multi-county efforts:
• Nature Abounds, Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps., $169,977
• North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, North Central Greenways Implementation Grant Program, DEP’s North-central region, $150,000
• North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, North Central Greenways Implementation Grant Program, DEP’s Northwest Region, $150,000
• Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy, Ag Impaired Stream Restoration, $366,180; PALMS, Lake Best Management Practices Projects, $283,000
• Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, TreeVitalize, Phase VIII, $200,000
• Trout Unlimited Inc., Utilizing Mine Drainage Residuals to Control Phosphorus in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, $184,178
• Trout Unlimited, Inc., AMD Technical Assistance Program, $159,500
• Trust for Tomorrow, Northwest Ohio River Watershed Initiative, $100,000
• Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Quick Response VI, $130,000.
For more information on Growing Greener or to see the complete list of grant recipients, email GrowingGreener@pa.gov, call 717-705-4500 or visit DEP’s website at www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Growing Greener.