Headwaters Charitable Trust Wednesday announced it will receive $1,356, 840 from the Department of Environmental Protection for 4 restoration projects in the Mill Creek and Toby Creek watersheds.
Projects in both watersheds address the rehabilitation of abandoned mine drainage treatment systems. Grant applications were submitted to the PA Growing Greener Program on behalf of Mill Creek Coalition of Clarion and Jefferson counties and the Toby Creek Watershed Association of Elk and Jefferson counties.
Mill Creek Coalition has worked for 26 years to restore the Mill Creek watershed which was heavily impacted by abandoned mine drainage.
According to the Fish and Boat Commission’s fish survey completed in 2013, wild trout are now present in all but the last several miles of the stream.
Pete Dalby, president of the Coalition commented that “this funding is critical to keeping our treatment systems functioning to protect the health of the fishery”.
The Toby Creek Watershed Association has been working to restore Little Toby Creek and the Clarion River for over 40 years.
Bill Sabatose, president of the association has worked tirelessly to incorporate innovative treatment strategies to address AMD impacted streams using both active and passive treatments technologies.
Mr. Sabatose acknowledges that there is a dire need to provide upkeep to existing treatment systems but also to establish operation and maintenance funding to protect the investments made.
According to the Executive Director at Headwater’s Charitable Trust, Janie French, she agrees about the effect of protecting the fisheries in Pennsylvania by saying: “I concur with Mr. Sabatose’s assessment. The protection of restored fisheries is important to our vibrant tourism industry. It adds value to our communities through not only the economic opportunities but also for ecological health and the enjoyment gained through spending time on the stream. Therefore, Headwaters Charitable Trust is committed to raising the necessary funds to establish an operation and maintenance endowment fund.”For more information, visit the Headwaters Charitable Trust website.