Monday, June 4, 2018

DEP, Agriculture Leaders Tour Award-Winning Stream Restoration Project At Plain Sect Farm In Lancaster

Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell and Agriculture Deputy Secretary Greg Hostetter Monday toured a project that restored a badly eroded section of Big Beaver Creek on a Plain Sect farm in Lancaster County. 
The improvements prevented the loss of valuable land and reduced sediment levels by 121,000 pounds, nitrogen levels by 202 pounds, and phosphorous levels by 183 pounds annually.
“Many partners in Lancaster County teamed up to restore this stream to its more natural state, after years of erosion,” said Secretary McDonnell. “Because of your great work, the creek now carries less sediment and fertilizer pollution, enabling healthier insect and fish populations and bringing economic benefit to the farm.
“Ultimately, reducing pollutants in our waters can only be accomplished community by community, parcel by parcel. As we celebrate Chesapeake Bay Watershed Awareness Week, I commend your teamwork as a model for communities throughout Pennsylvania’s 43 counties in the watershed. You demonstrate that the benefits of environmental conservation go beyond the environment.”
DEP honored the Big Beaver Creek-Plain Sect Farm project with a 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in April.
“Caring for the environment is ingrained in the culture of Pennsylvania’s agriculture sector,” Agriculture Deputy Secretary Greg Hostetter said. “Our two goals of clean water and healthy soil are inseparable to economically viable farms. Projects like this one demonstrate clearly that caring for soil and water boosts the farmer’s bottom line.”
Kara Kalupson, director of the Pequea Creek Watershed Association, and Matt Kofroth, watershed specialist at the Lancaster County Conservation District, coordinated the project, partnering with the farmer after he lost a mule on the steep bank.
Project partners included the Conservation Fund; Strasburg, West Lampeter, and Providence Townships; Solanco High School FFA students and Lancaster Academy students; and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff.
The group installed in-stream structures to slow stream flow and planted 800 native tree seedlings and about 3,500 shrubs on the banks to help prevent erosion and improve wildlife habitat.
They also installed bridges and streambank fencing to keep cows from eroding the banks and getting manure into the stream. A half-mile of stream was restored.
For more information on Pennsylvania's efforts to cleanup rivers and streams in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, visit the Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay Plan webpage.
Growing Greener Apps Due July 13
Applications for the next round of Growing Greener Grants are due July 13.
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