Tuesday, September 17, 2019

NFWF Announces $6.9 Million In Grants To Improve The Health Of The Delaware Watershed; $3.4 Million To PA

On September 17, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced 41 grant awards totaling more than $6.9 million for water quality restoration and habitat conservation throughout the Delaware River watershed. 
The awards included over $3.4 million for projects that benefit Pennsylvania.
Grantee organizations have committed more than $8.9 million in match, amounting to a conservation impact of nearly $15.9 million. 
The grants were awarded through two programs administered by NFWF, the Delaware River Restoration Fund and the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund. 
The Delaware River Restoration Fund is administered in cooperation with the Delaware River Watershed Initiative-- an NGO-driven partnership between leading conservation organizations to protect and restore water quality in the Delaware River watershed-- with major funding provided by the William Penn Foundation.
“The 41 projects announced today will improve both fish and wildlife habitat and water quality across the Delaware River watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “They will improve drinking water for more than 15 million residents in four states while conserving habitat for species including red knots, eastern brook trout, American shad and golden-winged warbler.”
Delaware River Restoration Fund
In Pennsylvania, the Delaware River Restoration Fund grants include--
-- Implementing Agricultural Best Management Practices in the Middle Schuylkill Cluster - Berks Nature: $130,000/206,900 match/$336,900 total. Install whole farm agricultural best management practices on farms located in priority focus areas within the Middle Schuylkill Cluster geography of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative. Project will integrate best management practices as part of a larger watershed approach for addressing a critical agriculture restoration initiatives to improve water quality in the Schuylkill River watershed, and ultimately, the Delaware River 
-- Installing Agricultural Best Management Practices in the Middle Schuylkill Focus Areas - Stroud Water Research Center: $249,638/$687,989 match/$937,627 total. Install over 90 structural agricultural best management practices on over nine farms in the Middle Schuylkill focus areas of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative cluster. Project will install 35 acres of forested buffers, pilot a cost share program for soil health transition to enable producers to try new or improved cover crops and no-till acres, and leverage funding for outreach and technical assistance.
-- Implementing Agricultural Best Management Practices in the Brandywine-Christina Focus Areas - Stroud Water Research Center: $249,325/$719,311 match/$968,636 total. Implement agricultural best management practices and install at least 30 acres forested buffers with nine landowners in the Brandywine-Christina Focus Areas of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative Cluster. Project will pilot a cost-share program for soil health to enable producers to implement cover crop and no-till practices and work with over eight farms, totaling 400 acres, to support producer success
-- Installing Green Stormwater Management Practices for the Restoration of Mill Creek - Brodhead Watershed Association: $53,337/$35,300 match/$88,637 total. Install green stormwater management projects in the Village of Mountainhome to restore the water quality of Mill Creek, an important tributary of the Brodhead Creek, in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Project will design green stormwater infrastructure practices with Monroe County Conservation District and provide three community workshops for homeowners on how to install similar projects on their properties
-- Plum Run Stream Restoration Project: Phase II - Brandywine Red Clay Alliance: $150,000/$344,867 match/$494,867 total. Restore 2,001 feet of Plum Run, an impaired stream, using stream bank stabilization, in-stream structures, and a tree and shrub buffer to improve water quality. Project will launch Phase II of Plum Run Stream Restoration to address highly eroded stream banks, legacy sediment and nearby properties affecting this section of the stream.
-- Implementing Stormwater Management Practices in Lionville, PA - Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc.: $200,008/$184,000 match/$384,008 total. Implement a large stormwater restoration initiative in the Pine Creek-Pickering focus area of the Schuylkill Highlands Cluster, one of the eight targeted geographies in the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI). Project will install three large rain gardens connected by vegetated swales to capture and infiltrate runoff before it reaches the stream, along with smaller rain gardens and a rainwater harvesting cisterns at three adjacent properties at the headwaters of Pine Creek. 
-- Enhancing Forested Riparian Buffers in the Schuylkill Highlands Focus Areas - Green Valleys Association of Southeastern PA Inc.: $19,554/$25,000 match/$44,554 total. Restore forested riparian buffers at five sites located within the Delaware River Watershed Initiative Schuylkill Highlands Cluster in northern Chester County and southern Berks County, Pennsylvania. Project will install and enhance riparian buffers to improve and maintain water quality in the region.
-- Advancing Innovative Stream Restoration Approaches in Cherry Creek - The Nature Conservancy-PA: $164,655/$120,000 match/$284,655 total. Expand restoration and monitoring activities at the Blakeslee property, located visibly and strategically near the center of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative Cherry Valley Focus Area of the Pocono Kittatinny Cluster of northeastern Pennsylvania. Project will improve water quality in Cherry Creek through the reduction of streambank erosion and restoration of stream function, and include water quality monitoring to evaluate the aggregated impacts of these efforts.
-- Restoring the Red Clay Creek and White Clay Creek Watersheds - Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art: $200,000/$200,000 match/$400,000 total. Restore water quality in the Delaware River Watershed by conducting landowner education and outreach while implementing agricultural best management practices using a whole-farm approach within the headwater reaches of the Red Clay Creek and White Clay Creek subwatersheds. Project will build on prior successful projects in the Brandywine-Christina Delaware River Watershed Initiative Cluster, enhancing partnerships to implement best management practices to improve water quality.
Click Here for all Delaware River Restoration Fund awards.
Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund
In Pennsylvania, the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund grants include--
-- Restoration and Habitat Enhancement of Bushkill Creek - Wildlands Conservancy: $98,006/$138,000 match/$236,006 total. Restore approximately 2 miles of High Quality Coldwater Fishery designated Bushkill Creek in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Project will conduct instream channel corrections, banks stabilization plantings, and aquatic habitat improvements to support native brook trout populations
-- Streambank and Riparian Forest Restoration in the Pennypack Creek - Delaware River City Corporation: $150,000/$162,000 match/$312,000 total. Restore 600 linear feet of eroded streambank and the adjacent riparian forest to improve habitat for fish and wildlife along the Pennypack Creek near its confluence with the Delaware River in Northeast Philadelphia. Project will expand on current, local restoration efforts to remove invasive tree species and replace them with native canopy and understory trees, helping to create a varied and sustainable ecosystem while providing community access to the riverfront. 
-- Watershed Restoration and Habitat Improvement in the Brodhead Creek Watershed - Pocono Heritage Land Trust: $250,000/$845,447 match/$845,447 total. Improve habitat for fish and wildlife in up to six locations in the Brodhead Creek Watershed. Project will leverage public and private partnerships, combining the efforts of private fishing clubs, a regional water authority, a local university and volunteers to benefit fish, wildlife and people in the greater Delaware River Watershed.
--Expanding Stream Restoration in the Red Clay Creek - Brandywine Red Clay Alliance: $249,556/$313,000 match/$562,556 total. Restore 4,400 feet of the Upper East Branch Red Clay Creek and an unnamed tributary using stream-bank stabilization with native grasses and wildflowers, in-stream structures, stream bank grading, and the addition of trees and shrubs to the riparian areas where needed. Project will reduce sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorous to the stream and improve water quality toward the goal of achieving unimpaired status for fish, wildlife and people.
-- Designing Bartram’s Mile Fishing Pier - Schuylkill River Development Corporation: $50,000/$60,000 match/$110,000 total. Develop shovel-ready design plans to rehabilitate an abandoned industrial pier into an accessible recreational site on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, a tributary of the Delaware River. Project will lead to shoreline improvements aimed to enhance water quality and wildlife habitat, as well as improve recreational opportunities and river access consistent with local conservation efforts.
-- Restoring Dynamic Forest Structure for Priority Birds in the Delaware River Watershed: Phase III - American Bird Conservancy: $250,000/$250,000 match/$500,000 total. Develop and implement a comprehensive forest management strategy in six Dynamic Forest Restoration Blocks totaling more than 25,000 acres in northeast Pennsylvania. Project will target long-term availability of diverse forest age classes and structural complexity benefitting the entire reproductive cycle of golden-winged warbler, cerulean warbler, and wood thrush. 
Multi-State Projects
-- Managing Invasive Knotweed for Habitat Enhancement in the Upper Delaware River (NY, PA) - Friends of the Upper Delaware River Inc.: $249,994/$251,411 match/$501,405 total. Develop a collaborative and strategic management plan with demonstration sites in public, regionally significant areas of the Upper Delaware River Watershed to limit further spread of invasive knotweed to restore native riparian habitat. Project will include outreach efforts to streamside landowners to encourage invasives species management. 
--Enhancing Forest Habitat in the Northern Delaware River Watershed- Phase II  (PA, NJ) - Wildlife Management Institute: $248,948/$250,000 match/$498,948 total. Implement forest management plan activities on private lands in the northern Delaware River Watershed. Project will aid in the creation of young forest habitat, the enhancement of middle-aged and mature forest habitat, the control of native and exotic invasives, as well as expand partnerships to enhance work in northwest New Jersey.
-- Enhancing the New York-Pennsylvania Joint Fisheries Investigation Plan (NY, PA) - Friends Of The Upper Delaware River, Inc.: $249,998/$302,586 match/$552,584 total. Expand the New York-Pennsylvania Joint Fisheries Investigation Plan through integration of high definition stream survey data. Project will improve this regional plan to inform future fisheries management and restoration decisions in the Upper Delaware River Tailwaters.
-- Examining the Effects of Modifications in the Delaware River on Sturgeon Populations (DE, NJ, PA) - University of Delaware: $46,658/$46,658 match/$93,316 total. Develop new bottom sediment maps for segments of the Delaware River using high-resolution, side-scan sonar imagery. Project will address areas of the Delaware River navigation channel that have recently been deepened, potentially impacting habitats for Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon
-- Creating a Web-Based Habitat Model for the Upper Delaware River (NJ, NY, PA) - Delaware River Basin Commission: $128,750/$136,480 match/$265,230 total. Enhance previously developed models for measuring habitat changes resulting from regulated flow and temperature mitigation efforts in the Upper Delaware River. Project will upgrade current models and provide an easily accessible, web-based system to accommodate new research, additional species, and expanded spatial domain.
-- Improving Spawning and Rearing Habitat for Alosines in the Delaware River Basin (DE, NJ, NY, PA) - The Nature Conservancy-PA: $175,101/$176,000 match/$351,101 total. Advance a targeted in-depth assessment to improve aquatic connectivity for American shad and river herring in the Delaware River Basin. Project will evaluate barriers and habitats throughout the watershed to identify key sites for shad and river herring restoration, resulting in a “Restoration Road Map” which will provide recommendations on meeting funding needs and feasibility and opportunity for potential phasing projects
-- Characterization of Algal Composition and Dissolved Oxygen in the Delaware Estuary (DE, NJ, PA) - Delaware River Basin Commission: $88,854/$90,000 match/$178,854 total. Perform algal composition and dissolved oxygen characterization of Delaware Estuary to better understand existing and potential fish habitat quality. Project will inform the propagation of important species populations such as Atlantic sturgeon and striped bass and improve the eutrophication model of the tidal Delaware River and Bay.
Click Here for all Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund awards.
For more information on NFWF grant opportunities, visit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website and the Delaware River Program webpage.
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