Thursday, September 10, 2020

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/NFWF Award $8.1 Million In Grants To Improve Health Of Delaware River Watershed

On September 9, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced 37 grant awards totaling more than $8.1 million to support recreation, water quality, water management, and habitat conservation throughout the Delaware River watershed.
A total of over $5 million was awarded for a total of 22 projects-- 12 state projects- $1,970,905; and 10 multi-state grants-- $3,100,261-- that will benefit Pennsylvania.
The grants were awarded through the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund and grantee organizations have committed nearly $22.1 million in match, for a total conservation impact of $30.2 million.
This year’s grants also include projects that address disparities in access to nature—a national crisis documented in a new report from the Center for American Progress on-- The Nature Gap-- by putting equity, justice and cultural competency at the core of their work. 
Grant awards that would benefit Pennsylvania include: 
--  John Bartram Association - $258,366.56 for “Youth Stewardship and Community Recreation Access on the Tidal Schuylkill River” 
-- National Wildlife Federation $499,999 for the “Delaware River Basin Urban Wildlife Community Engagement Program” -- Delaware Watershed-wide.
Pennsylvania Projects
These project grants will benefit Pennsylvania--
-- Implementation of Best Management Practices and Riparian Restoration on Irish Creek Farm, Berks County Conservation District: Grant Amount: $132,500, Matching Funds: $132,529, Total Project: $265,029. Implement agricultural Best Management Practices including manure storage, stable animal heavy use areas, livestock exclusion fencing, and pasture management conservation practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution runoff into the Irish Creek. Project will conserve and 4.8 acres of non-tidal wetlands by controlling invasive species and protect 10 acres of critical floodplain habitat. 
-- Bartram’s Mile Fishing Pier Rehabilitation, Schuylkill River Development Corporation
Grant Amount: $50,000 Matching Funds: $417,826 Total Project: $467,826 Rehabilitate an abandoned industrial pier into a usable recreational pier and the surrounding riverbank on the tidal Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Project will improve recreational opportunities and river access consistent with local conservation efforts, and restore shorelines resulting in enhancements to water quality and wildlife habitat.
-- Watershed Restoration and Habitat Improvement in the Chester, Ridley, and Crum Creek Watersheds, Chester, Ridley, and Crum Watersheds: Grant Amount: $82,100 Matching Funds: $115,769 TotalProject: $197,869 Improve habitat for fish and wildlife and increase opportunities for recreation and education in up to ten locations within the Chester, Ridley, and Crum Creek watersheds. Project will leverage partnerships with local educational institutions, municipalities, corporations, and civic organizations to restore riparian buffer areas and remove invasive plant material at sites that are crucial to the local watersheds and the greater Delaware River watershed.
-- Penrose Swamp Acquisition, Wildlands Conservancy: Grant Amount: $99,957 Matching Funds: $5,400,000 Total Project: $5,499,957 Facilitate the acquisition of the 2700-acre Penrose Swamp property located in Lausanne, Banks, and Packer Townships, Weatherly Borough, Carbon County, Hazle and Foster Townships, and Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Project will result in permanent protection of a core Natural Heritage Area and an Important Bird Area, as well as wetlands, intact forest, Penrose Creek, and sections of Beaver and Hazle Creeks.
-- Implementation of Water Quality Best Management Practices at Lake LuxembourgBucks County Conservation District: Grant Amount: $250,000, Matching Funds: $300,000, Total Project: $550,000. Convert the 17-acre Conservation Pool of Lake Luxembourg in Bucks County, Pennsylvania to a regional stormwater best management practice. Project will enhance water quality and habitat value through reduced phosphorous and sediment loading, the establishment of 7 acres of emergent wetland, and native wetland plantings and placement of large woody debris structures benefitting reptile and avian species.
-- Lenape Dam Removal on Brandywine Creek, Brandywine Red Clay Alliance: Grant Amount: $57,182 Matching Funds: $57,261, Total Project: $114,443 Restore a 3,300 foot section of the Brandywine Creek to free- flowing condition by removal of the 280 foot Lenape Dam. Project will enhance fish habitat, restore fish populations and migration, and improve water hydrology and safe public access to the stream for boaters and anglers.
-- Building Bridesburg Riverfront Park, Delaware River City Corporation: Grant Amount: $160,036, Matching Funds:$4,550,000, Total Project: $4,710,036 Build Bridesburg Riverfront Park, the last of eight planned parks on the Riverfront North greenway. Project will transform a former concrete factory in a neighborhood that has been cut off from its river by industry for a century into a 10 acre park and open space with native meadows, trees, and shrubs, reducing forest fragmentation reducing nonpoint source pollution.
-- Restoring Big Creek Watershed and Reintroducing Native Brook Trout, Delaware Riverkeeper Network: Grant Amount: $94,798, Matching Funds: $134,462, Total Project: $229,260 Evaluate limestone sand additions to the strip mined headwaters of Big Creek Pennsylvania to determine influence on continuous pH conditions, habitat quality, and the recovery of sensitive insects and other benthic invertebrates. Project will re-introduce native brook trout to the currently fishless watershed, piloting long-term strategies to maintain water quality and ecological improvements attained through restoration efforts.
-- Improving Public Access and Recreation in the Pennsylvania Portion of the Delaware River, Fish and Boat Commission: Grant Amount: $200,000, Matching Funds: $400,000, Total Project: $600,000, Improve public access and recreation by providing grants to public entities, including townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments as well as to nonprofit groups for the planning, acquisition, development, expansion and rehabilitation of public boating facilities located in the Pennsylvania portion of the Delaware River Watershed.  Project will ensure that boaters in the Delaware River watershed have safe, clean, and updated boating facilities.
-- Youth Stewardship and Community Recreation Access on the Tidal Schuylkill RiverJohn Bartram Association: Grant Amount: $258,367, Matching Funds: $287,346, TotalProject: $545,713. Implement a year-round youth-driven river engagement program at Bartram’s Garden, hiring up to 16 local youth interns annually to serve as riverfront ambassadors for river recreation programs that currently welcome roughly 8,000 neighbors annually. Project will encourage students to deepen their own skills and understanding in both watershed stewardship and river recreation while also sharing their learnings with members of the public through on-site recreation, and facilitated volunteer days.
-- Restoring Dynamic Forest Structure for Priority Birds in the Delaware River Watershed: Phase IV, American Bird Conservancy: Grant Amount: $362,135, Matching Funds: $367,245, Total Project: $729,380. Develop and implement a comprehensive forest management strategy targeting long-term availability of diverse forest age classes and structural complexity benefiting the entire reproductive cycle of golden-winged warbler, cerulean warbler and wood thrush. Project will draft the comprehensive plans for two new Dynamic Forest Restoration Blocks and will continue to implement management activities and monitor avian response outlined in existing comprehensive plans.
-- Improving Wildlife Habitat and Water Quality along the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, Lower Merion Conservancy: Grant Amount: $223,830, Matching Funds: $1,459,362, Total Project: $1,683,192. Improve stormwater management, restore wildlife habitat, and improve recreational access on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail and along sections of Vine Creek, an important feature of the trail and a tributary to the Schuylkill River. Project will reduce erosion and flood damage to Vine Creek, convert open space into a habitat corridor, and increase public awareness of stormwater issues and habitat loss through creation of meadows, rain gardens, and bioswales.
Multi-State Grants
These multi-state grants will benefit Pennsylvania--
-- Improving Water Resources Management in the Delaware River Basin via Data Access (DE, NJ, NY, PA),  Delaware River Basin Commission: Grant Amount: $200,000, Matching Funds: $447,000, Total Project: $647,000. Support the Delaware River Basin Commission’s comprehensive Water Resources Program to improve water quality management, monitoring and ultimately improve aquatic habitat. Project will manage, protect, and improve water resources by developing a Basin-focused Water Quality Data Portal to facilitate data access for the public.
-- Delaware River Basin Urban Wildlife Community Engagement Program (DE, NJ, NY, PA)National Wildlife Federation: Grant Amount: $499,999, Matching Funds: $500,000, Total Project: $999,999. Engage a broader demographic by identifying and addressing specific community barriers to conservation engagement. Project will develop tools for cultivating programs that provide high-quality recreational and conservation opportunities that benefit the communities and the environment, increasing public access to the Delaware river and its lands, and inspiring participants to engage in outdoor activities and protect and improve their local watershed.
-- Identifying Environmental Drivers of American Eel Emigration in the Delaware River (DE, NJ, NY, PA), Delaware State University: Grant Amount: $225,177, Matching Funds: $225,178, Total Project: $450,000. Model the outmigration of adult, silver-phase American eel in both the tidal and non-tidal portions of the Delaware River, utilizing a large-scale passive acoustic telemetry network annotated with environmental and astronomical parameters. Project will increase understanding of the underlying drivers and timing of movement in the Delaware River Basin, informing conservation and management of American eel in impounded systems where passage and increased mortality are key concerns.
-- Developing Risk Assessment Framework for Atlantic Sturgeon (DE, NJ, PA), Delaware State University: Grant Amount: $312,129, Matching Funds: $312,129, Total Project: $624,258. Work with regional and federal partners to provide robust estimates of adult spawning run size which will serve as a key parameter for a broader effort to develop a species-specific risk assessment model for Atlantic Sturgeon in the Delaware River. Project will serve to help quantify specific threats and their impacts ultimately facilitating effective decision-making as stakeholders work to recover this once iconic species.
-- Developing the Mussels for Clean Water Initiative to Enhance Habitat and Water Quality (DE, NJ, PA), Partnership for the Delaware Estuary: Grant Amount: $179,979, Matching Funds: $180,000, Total Project: $359,979.  Overcome key research and planning bottlenecks that impede implementation of the new Mussels for Clean Water Initiative that aims to restore beds of freshwater mussels. Project will develop a Mussels for Clean Water Initiative Restoration Plan, Genetics Management Plan, and Disease Management Plan, as well as conduct laboratory research to enhance juvenile mussel survival and growth in a hatchery setting.
-- The River Unites Us: Bird Conservation Across the Delaware River Watershed (DE, NY, PA), National Audubon Society: Grant Amount: $250,000,  Matching Funds: $500,000, Total Project: $750,000. Address conservation needs reflecting the rich diversity of habitat and conditions across three states in the Delaware River Watershed. Project will increase the number of people engaged in direct conservation efforts, measurably improve bird habitat, and increase scientific data awareness and support for restoration efforts in Delaware.
-- Enhancing Forest Habitat in the Northern Delaware River Watershed - Phase III (PA, NJ), Wildlife Management Institute: Grant Amount: $200,000, Matching Funds: $200,000, Total Project: 400,000. Implement forest management plan activities on public and 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 and build upon previous success to enhance work in northwest New Jersey.
-- Improving Trout Habitat and River Access in the Upper Delaware River Watershed (NY, PA), Friends of the Upper Delaware River: Grant Amount: $405,478, Matching Funds: $406,150, Total Project: $811,628.  Implement five stream restoration projects including the replacement of three failing culverts, installation of habitat improvement structures, floodplain reconnection, and continued outreach to the community. Project will improve water quality, improve trout spawning habitat, expand fish passage, and develop scientific support for future stream restoration projects.
-- Evaluating Headwater Biodiversity and Resilience to Inform Conservation in the Delaware Basin (PA, NY), Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University:  Grant Amount: $327,500, Matching Funds: $328,328, Total Project: $655,828. Study the diversity and functioning of headwater streams, their potential resilience, and the species in their watersheds that are vulnerable to human activities, including climate change. Project will provide data and approaches to partners that can be applied to maintain protection of important headwaters and to give an understanding of where climate change may pose a higher threat to certain areas within the watershed.
Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Tim Schaeffer said, “"The Delaware River watershed holds a treasure of aquatic resources, and we're excited to watch these projects take shape to benefit fish, wildlife, and the anglers and boaters of Pennsylvania.  Conservation of these waters opens the door to expanded recreational opportunities that so many Pennsylvanians are seeking."  Read More Here.
For more information on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s conservation work in the watershed, visit the Delaware River Watershed webpage.
Related Article:
[Posted: Sept. 10, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner