The Fish and Boat Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced $200,000 in grants to address habitat improvement and sediment reduction projects in York and Lancaster counties.
Funding for the grant program is being provided by Exelon Generation Company as part of its 2014 water quality certification from the Department of Environmental Protection to operate the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, an electric generation facility located along the Susquehanna River in Peach Bottom Township, York County, and Fulton and Dunmore townships, Lancaster County.
As part of the agreement, Exelon will mitigate impacts to aquatic resources by providing $100,000 per year to the PFBC for as long as the Peach Bottom facility remains in operation.
“These tributary waters flow to the Susquehanna River and therefore directly affect the health of the river and the Chesapeake Bay,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Reducing the amounts of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous which enter these waterways will improve water quality and enhance the habitat for aquatic life, creating healthier streams and ultimately a healthier Susquehanna River.”
“We are fortunate to be able to invest these settlement funds to benefit the fish and other aquatic life in the river,” he added. “The anglers, boaters and citizens of the Commonwealth who use the river for recreational activities ultimately benefit from these restoration efforts.”
“The diversity of these projects shows the many ways that we can act to improve local water quality,” said acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “The more we take care of the water, the better off Pennsylvania’s anglers will be.”
The projects funded today total approximately $200,000 and include:
-- Codorus Chapter Trout Unlimited, $11,000 - Codorus Creek Tributary Improvements near Jefferson Borough, York County. The project involves installing fencing on a private farm to restrict cattle access to an unnamed tributary and reestablishing a 2,200 foot riparian buffer. The project will improve the water quality of Codorus Creek, which supports an extensive Class A wild trout population. The total cost of the project is $12,250. The balance will be funded by the TU chapter.
-- Donegal Chapter Trout Unlimited, $30,020 - Fishing Creek Habitat Improvements at Camp Andrews, Drumore Township, Lancaster County. The project involves stabilizing approximately 1,200 feet of stream bank, creating 3.5 acres of riparian buffer and installing fish habitat enhancement structures. In addition to improving water quality, the project will enhance the wild trout habitat and increase opportunities to fly fish.
The total cost of the project is $95,020. The balance will be funded by the TU chapter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lancaster County Conservation District, and Camp Andrews.
-- Donegal Chapter Trout Unlimited, $35,990 - Peters Creek Habitat Improvements, Fulton Township, Lancaster County. Various stream restoration and habitat enhancement structures will be installed along approximately 1,200 feet of Peters Creek to improve water quality and coldwater fishery habitat. In addition to improving water quality, the project will enhance the wild trout habitat and increase opportunities to fly fish.
The total cost of the project is $79,845. The balance will be funded by the TU chapter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lancaster County Conservation District, Exelon, and Fulton Township.
-- City of Lancaster, $48,000 - Wetland Creation and Stormwater Treatment at Long’s Park. The city is partnering with Park City Mall to treat stormwater runoff through three projects. The projects will treat a total of 5 acres of impervious surface, 4.5 acres from Park City and 0.5 acres of Route 30, and an additional 9.4 acres of Long’s Park, an 80-acre facility located along the northwest corner of the city at the intersection of Harrisburg Pike and Route 30. As part of the project funded by the PFBC grant, the city will construct a 0.6 acre submerged gravel wetland at Long's Park. This will reduce runoff into the unnamed tributary of the Little Conestoga Creek and the creek itself, which suffers from excess sedimentation and streambank erosion.
The total cost of the overall stormwater runoff plan is approximately $596,419. The balance will be funded by various grant sources and the City of Lancaster.
-- The Nature Conservancy-PA, $74,943 - Harnish Run Stream Restoration and Wetland Creation at Acopian Preserve, West Cocalico Township, Lancaster County. Historically, Harnish Run was a highly sinuous, low-gradient stream flowing through a series of wetlands. In the 1970’s, the stream was channelized, straightened, and relocated adjacent to a road, limiting streamflow to the original channel and surrounding wetlands. The goal of this project is to reestablish the historic channel of Harnish Run, establishing a low gradient, headwater stream, that supports the quality, functionality, and diversity of surrounding riverine and wetland ecosystems.
The total cost of the project is $105,179. The balance will be funded by The Nature Conservancy.
For more information, visit the York, Lancaster Counties Habitat Improvement Grant Program webpage.(Photo: Crable: Saving More Than One Trout Stream At A Time.)