Tuesday, April 25, 2017

CBF-PA To Help Educate Communities On Causes, Cures Of Polluted Stormwater Runoff

Residents in Harrisburg, Lancaster and York will be able to learn about the problems caused by polluted runoff and have a say in how it is addressed, thanks to a state Environmental Education Grant to be administered by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA.
The environmental justice project will be funded by grant of $42,360 from the state Department of Environmental Protection, and matched by CBF. Capital Region Water is a key partner.
Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell defined environmental justice as “empowering low-income minority communities with better environmental information so they can more fully participate in the kinds of processes we at the department engage in every day; connecting people with their environment and their government to get better outcomes.”
“This project will empower and educate people in urban areas of Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York on how to improve and protect the water quality in their communities,” said Renee Reber, CBF’s staff scientist in Pennsylvania, who worked on the grant. “We look forward to working with community members who will guide how project activities such as rain barrel workshops and watershed discovery trips are tailored to work best for their interests and needs.”
CBF’s environmental justice project will also include a demonstration rain garden in the City of Harrisburg, to be installed in the spring of 2018. The location has not been determined.
CRW’s City Beautiful H2O Program to reduce combined sewer overflows in Harrisburg includes a green infrastructure plan developed with a significant amount of community input. CRW is in the midst of a green stormwater infrastructure project in the Camp Curtin area of the city that will include rain garden.
Urban and suburban polluted runoff is the only source of pollution that continues to increase within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Impervious surfaces like roofs, streets, and parking lots generate polluted runoff that can find its way into the nearest river or stream, threatening drinking water.
“Capital Region Water is proud to partner with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to further engage the Harrisburg community around clean water,” said Andrew Bliss, CRW’s Community Outreach Manager. “Green infrastructure has the power to reduce pollution and beautify neighborhoods, but only if driven by the neighborhood community itself.”
“Prioritizing education about water quality, especially in our disadvantaged communities, builds a stronger community overall,” said CBF’s Pennsylvania Executive Director Harry Campbell. “We all have a stake in clean water. Our health, way of life, and economic well being depend on it. That’s why we all should have the knowledge and opportunity to be part of the solution.”
CBF’s environmental justice effort in Harrisburg, Lancaster, and York is one of 79 projects statewide that received almost $1.2 million in Environmental Education Grants from the DEP.
Environmental Education Grants are funded by 5 percent of the pollution fines and penalties collected annually by DEP.
For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here for a copy of CBF-PA’s most recent newsletter.
(Photo: The rain garden at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, has features that may be included in the rain garden to be installed in the city in spring of 2018 as part of an environmental justice project administered by CBF-PA.)

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner