Thursday, January 10, 2019

DEP Awards 2 Grants Totaling $221,857 In Northumberland, Schuylkill, Venango Counties To Reduce Agricultural, Restore Streambanks

On January 9, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the award of 2 Growing Greener grants totaling $221,857 in Northumberland, Schuylkill and Venango counties to reduce pollution from agricultural runoff and restore streambanks.
Northumberland & Schuylkill Counties
The Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $154,970 grant to the Schuylkill County Conservation District to implement the Mahantango Brown to Green Watershed Restoration Project in Northumberland and Schuylkill counties.
The grant will fund various projects to restore the agriculturally impaired Mahantango Watershed, improving water quality and helping achieve compliance with Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay goals.
Those projects will establish 12 best management practices (BMPs) on the Miller Farm, a 24-acre farm in the watershed.
The primary goal is to reduce agricultural runoff of silt and nutrients from 100 cows on the farm into nearby Mahantango Creek. The BMPs will address ways to handle manure storage and provide guidance on constructing a roofed animal waste facility.
The project also includes construction of streamside fencing, off stream watering of farm animals, designation of an area of prescribed grazing on the farm and the installation of more than two acres of riparian buffers along the creek.
Those buffers will help reduce runoff of nitrogen and phosphorous into the creek, which is a priority for the Wolf Administration’s Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Plan.
“Farmers play an important role in the administration’s goal of reducing waste into waterways that feed into the Chesapeake Bay, especially in the Northeast,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Best management practices start on the farms and the result is a stronger, healthier Bay, this grant helps move that process along.”
Venango County
A $66,887 Growing Greener Grant was awarded to Trout Unlimited to restore approximately 1,000 feet of streambank along Bullion Run in Venango County.
The grant will improve fish and other aquatic life habitat and reduce sediment pollution by more than 15,000 pounds per year.
“Cutting down on sediment in coldwater streams helps bring back fish and other aquatic life,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “When fish habitat improves, so does fishing.”
The Growing Greener grant program is supported by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, which receives its funding from landfill tipping fees and a transfer from the Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund.
Click Here for more information on DEP’s Growing Greener Plus Grant Program.
For more information on buffers, financial and technical assistance available, visit DCNR’s Forest Buffers and DEP’s Stormwater Management webpages.
CFA Accepting Applications
The Commonwealth Financing Authority will accept applications from February 1 to May 31 for its Act 13 Watershed Restoration Grants which includes funding control nonpoint source pollution runoff, which includes agricultural operations.  Click Here for more.
New DCNR Grant Round
Learn more about grant opportunities to support riparian buffer, trail and recreation projects, visit DCNR’s Community Conservation Grant Program webpage. A new grant round is opening January 22 and will close April 10.  Click Here for more.
Forest Buffer Summit
Registration is now open for the DCNR and Western PA Conservancy Pennsylvania Riparian Forest Buffer Summit on February 20-21 at the Best Western Premier Conference Center, 800 East Park Drive in Harrisburg.  Click Here for more.
(Photo: Example of streambank stabilization project from the Venango County Conservation District.)

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