Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Schuylkill River Restoration Fund Awards $378,671 In Grants For Schuylkill River Watershed Restoration Projects

On October 18 the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund awarded $378,671 in grants to watershed improvement projects throughout the Schuylkill River Watershed.
The grants will directly support nine restoration projects (listed below) and three land transaction grants, all of which will improve water quality in the Schuylkill River and its tributaries, a source of drinking water for 1.5 million people.
The funded projects will mitigate stormwater runoff and agricultural pollution, as well as restore streambanks, riparian areas, and floodplains. The land transaction grants will assist with costs associated with permanent protection of land in priority watershed.
The funded restoration projects include--
-- Berks County Conservation District Chavous Equestrian Ag Project $47,250: This project will implement Best Management Practices on an equestrian boarding operation to aid in the reduction of accelerated erosion, sedimentation, and nutrient runoff, caused by overgrazed pastures and insufficient stormwater management.
-- Berks Nature Brown Farm $90,000: Installation of agricultural best management practices on a steer and sheep farm in the Maiden Creek watershed. This project will remediate excessive nutrient concerns and address local and regional drinking water issues. BMP’s will include manure storage and transfer system, stormwater controls as well as streambank and wetland exclusion fencing.
-- Berks Nature Burkholder Farm $50,000: The Burkholder Farm is located in the Saucony Creek watershed and will complete similar agricultural BMP’s as the Brown farm. The installation of a manure storage facility will assist the farmer in safely storing manure produced from farm production and will reduce excessive nutrient levels in the watershed.
-- Berks Nature Meister Property Conservation $4,000: Grant funding will be used to assist in the permanent protection and conservation easement of the 32+ acre Meister property in the Hay Creek watershed located in Berks County.
-- Green Valleys Association Graham Property Conservation $4,000: Grant funding will be used to assist in the permanent protection and conservation easement of the 22 acre Graham property on the Welkenweir Preserve in Chester County. This property is located along the Exceptional Value Beaver Run, a tributary of French Creek.
-- Fairmount Park Conservancy Concourse Lake $23,393: The Conservancy will undertake enhancements of the Concourse Lake and surrounding wetlands by improving stormwater runoff and capturing over 2.5 acres of additional stormwater flow. This project will also improve the riparian buffer by planting native trees and shrubs around the lake.
-- Natural Lands Terada Property Conservation $4,000: Grant funding will be used to assist in the permanent protection and conservation easement of the 100+ acre Terada property. This property will be added to the existing publicly accessible Buck Hollow Preserve that contains several exceptional value streams.
-- Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy Jacob Reiff Park $98,000: This project will work to complete stream bank improvements along the West Branch of the Skippack Creek in Lower Salford Township. BMP’s will include streambank restoration and riparian buffer plantings. This project will also highlight one of the first restoration projects completed at the recently created Skippack Watershed Coalition.
-- Schuylkill Headwaters Association Porter Floodplain $59,325: The Porter Floodplain project will remove coal refuse from a previous settling basin in West Brunswick Township, and will restore the project area to its natural floodplain. Currently, during high water events, the coal silt on this property gets washed into the Schuylkill River through breached basin walls.
Contributors to the SRRF in 2018 included Exelon Generation's Limerick Generating Station, the Philadelphia Water Department, Aqua PA, and MOM's Organic Market.
Administered by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, the SRRF was initiated 13 years ago with funds from Exelon Corporation, which has participated every year.
To date, the SRRF has awarded over $3.6 million to 106 projects that help reduce pollution entering the Schuylkill River and its tributaries.
For more information on this program, visit the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund website.  Questions should be directed to Tim Fenchel by sending email to: TFenchel@schuylkillriver.org.
(Photo: Sunny Acre Farm, Berks County, 2017 Schuylkill Restoration Fund grant recipient.)

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