Tuesday, November 26, 2019

York Master Watershed Stewards Work With Alliance For The Chesapeake Bay On Buffer Project

By Jodi Sulpizio, York County Master Watershed Steward Coordinator

Pennsylvania has been tasked to reduce the amount of nutrient pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay.
This year, various state agencies worked together to complete Pennsylvania’s Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). This plan outlines various actions that can be taken to meet the pollution reduction goals mandated by the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] EPA. 
Planting riparian buffers is just one of the many best management practices that will help improve water quality.
Riparian buffers are the vegetated areas next to streams, rivers, lakes and other water bodies. These buffers are made up of grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees and are very effective at protecting the health of our waterways. 
Stormwater runoff carries pollutants such as sediment, fertilizers, pesticides, road salts and animal waste from agricultural lands, construction sites, lawns, roadways and other impervious surfaces to waterways. 
The vegetation in a riparian buffer intercepts the surface runoff and filters pollutants before entering streams or rivers.
In the Phase III WIP, York County has been tasked to remove 4 million pounds of nitrogen from its waters by 2025. 
To help York County do their part in reducing this pollution from entering the Chesapeake Bay, [York County] Master Watershed Stewards partnered with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Northeastern School District to plant a significant, twenty acre riparian buffer along Hartman Run on school district property. 
The project was fully funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources. 
This project will not only help clean up our local waters but will also provide an amazing outdoor classroom for the teachers and students. Opportunities for learning will be endless!
Thursday, October 24th state leaders, students, administrators and conservation partners attended a kick-off celebration along Hartman Run which meanders the landscape below Shallow Brook Intermediate School. 
DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn planted the first tree. Hundreds of volunteers and students followed, planting trees and securing tree shelters in the first phase of the planting. 
The following weekend, over 100 community members showed up, joined in on the fun and planted the remaining trees. 
Together, about 800 trees were planted. Remaining acreage will be planted in 2020.
This project demonstrated the strength of cross-sector partnerships, the collaborative nature of modern conservation efforts and garnered community involvement and support. 
It will contribute to both York County’s and the state’s sediment and nutrient reduction goals for local streams and rivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 
Also, it sets an example for other school districts and other landowners such as businesses, hospitals, college campuses, etc. who collectively own large amounts of land suitable for similar efforts. 
To help meet our clean water goals, plant more trees!
[Contact the  York County Master Watershed Stewards or any Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards county group to see how you can become involved in projects like this.
[You can also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership website to learn how you can become part of that initiative anywhere in the state.
[For more information on riparian buffers, visit DCNR’s Forest Buffers Along Waterways webpage.
[To learn more about Pennsylvania’s efforts to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s Chesapeake Bay Plan webpage.

(Reprinted from the Penn State Extension Watershed Winds newsletter. Click Here to sign up for updates from Penn State Extension.)
Related Articles:
[Posted: November 26, 2019]  www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com

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