Wednesday, September 2, 2020

EPA, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Award Record $18 Million For Projects In Chesapeake Bay Watershed; $7.46 Million In PA

On September 2, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a record $18 million in grants to support 56 Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration and conservation projects in six states and the District of Columbia.
Pennsylvania will benefit from 18 of the projects funded with grants totalling $7.46 million.
The 56 grants will generate nearly $19 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $37 million.
The grants were awarded through the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund, a partnership between EPA’s Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants Program (INSR Program) and Small Watershed Grants Program (SWG Program), and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 
The grants, a record amount for the Stewardship Fund, will improve waterways, restore habitats and strengthen iconic species in Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. 
The funds will engage farmers and agricultural producers, homeowners, churches, businesses and municipalities in on-the-ground restoration that supports quality of life in their communities, improving local waterways and, ultimately, the health of the Bay.
“EPA’s ongoing commitment and accountability to the restoration of the Bay is furthered by these grants that help address some of our most critical challenges, including reducing pollution from agricultural operations in Pennsylvania,” said EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servidio.
For example, a $1 million INSR grant, with a $1.19 million match is being awarded to the Chesapeake Conservancy to implement a regional restoration plan in central Pennsylvania that will result in full-farm restoration on 25 farms, enhanced coordination of outreach and technical assistance, improved messaging to accelerate landowner recruitment and knowledge transfer, and restoration projects to rapidly de-list 46 miles of impaired streams.
A $500,000 SWG grant, with an equal match, is being awarded to the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to work with the Octoraro Source Water Collaborative in Lancaster and Chester counties, Pennsylvania to reduce pollution through measures that include agricultural best management practices on Plain Sect farms.
PA Projects
Projects funded that will benefit Pennsylvania include--
-- Accelerating Riparian Forest Buffer Implementation in Priority Pennsylvania Counties - Chesapeake Bay Foundation.   Grant Amount: $975,926; Matching Funds:  $977,882; Total Project: $1,953,809. Read more here.
Build relationships between private and public partners of conservation districts in Pennsylvania’s Final Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan to accelerate implementation, maintenance resources, and innovative financial incentives of riparian forested buffers in Pennsylvania. Project will provide technical assistance to local contractors and implement 360 acres of buffers, resulting in an annual load reduction of 42,071 pounds nitrogen, 635 pounds phosphorus, and 1,656,578 pounds of sediment.
-- Precision Conservation Partnership Implementing a Regional Restoration Plan in Central Pennsylvania - Chesapeake Conservancy. Grant Amount: $1,000,000, Matching Funds: $1,118,147, Total Project: $2,118,147
Implement a regional restoration plan in central Pennsylvania, build upon a Precision Conservation Partnership, and increase and strengthen local capacity and partnerships . Project will result in full-farm restoration on 25 farms, enhanced coordination of outreach and technical assistance, improved messaging to accelerate landowner recruitment, and knowledge transfer in the region, and prioritize restoration projects to rapidly de-list 46 miles of impaired streams.
-- Accelerating Farm Stewardship Forested Buffers and Best Management Practices Implementation - Stroud Water Research Center.  Grant Amount:  $499,920, Matching Funds: $802,381, Total Project: $1,302,301
Build on Farm Stewardship Program success and add new emphases on implementing agricultural best management practices while bringing along much-needed forested buffers.  Project will accelerate the rate of best management practices implementation, incentivize the inclusion of forested buffers that earn vouchers to pay for planning and implementation, and focus efforts in existing or emerging clusters of conservation so that research can help document the recovery of stream health.
-- Support for a Successful Transition to Rotational Grazing - Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council.  Grant Amount: $406,224, Matching Funds: $275,000,  Total Project:  $681,224
Support the transition of up to 1,000 acres of crop land and unmanaged pasture to a rotational grazing system, including cost-share for grazing infrastructure and technical assistance to ensure the successful implementation of the funded grazing projects. Project will complement work being conducted in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to promote rotational grazing and soil health, including the Mountains to Bay Grazing Alliance and the Pennsylvania Soil Health Coalition.
-- Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership: Continued Momentum for Market-Driven Conservation Action  - Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  Grant Amount: $500,000, Matching Funds: $500,000, Total Project: $1,000,000
Work collectively with Turkey Hill Dairy, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association to support the farmers that supply milk to Turkey Hill Dairy by installing conservation practices. Project will accelerate implementation and build momentum for the Turkey Hill Clean Water Partnership.
-- Restoring the Octoraro Reservoir: Continued Plain Sect Conservation Action - Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  Grant Amount: $500,000, Matching Funds: $502,500, Total Project: $1,002,500
Achieve pollutant reductions in subwatersheds contributing to drinking water supplies in the Octoraro Creek Watershed through outreach and agricultural best management practices installation on Plain Sect farms. Project will prioritize farms and agricultural best management practices based on their nitrogen reduction potential, with implementation efforts being led by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
-- Accelerating Implementation of Farmer Adoption of Nutrient Stewardship Practices (DE, MD, PA, VA) - The Mid-Atlantic 4R Nutrient Stewardship Association.  Grant Amount: $990,000, Matching Funds: $1,084,000, Total Project: $2,074,000
Bring together stakeholders involved in nutrient management and those who have environmental concerns about excess nutrients to work together to develop locally relevant solutions. Project will identify barriers to nutrient management adoption, design a communications strategy, engage 300 farms to implement nutrient management, increase implementation of split application of nitrogen and pilot a model for a Pennsylvania Manure Transport Exchange.
-- Improving the Delivery of Outreach and Technical Assistance for Implementation in York County - York County Planning Commission.  Grant Amount:  $50,000 Total Project:. $50,000
Complete groundwork for a successful messaging campaign, a coalition with broader and more diverse representation, and reported implementation of water quality best management practices. Project will develop a Countywide Action Plan messaging strategy to effectively educate the community, expand the capacity of the York County Coalition for Clean Waters, a key partner in Countywide Action Plan implementation efforts, and embark on a long-term clean water messaging campaign.
-- Little Chiques Park Stream Bank Restoration and Green Infrastructure Master Plan - Mount Joy Borough, Lancaster County. Grant Amount: $50,000, Matching Funds: $65,000, Total Project: $115,000
Design and permit an approximately 5,000-linear-foot stream segment of Little Chiques Creek, located within the bounds of Little Chiques Park situated in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Project will plan to improve drainage patterns within the park as they impact the stream corridor and cause uncontrolled flooding within the park, and will improve public access to the creek for fishing and other recreation purposes.
-- Implementation of Agricultural Best Management Practices in Salisbury TownshipLancaster Farmland Trust. Grant Amount: $494,347, Matching Funds: $186,900, Total Project: $681,247
Reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution flowing from Salisbury Township farms to the Chesapeake Bay, specifically in the Pequea Creek Watershed. Project will expand on an existing, innovative initiative in Salisbury Township to drive the agricultural community toward environmental compliance and sustainability and result in best management practices implemented on five farms in the Pequea Creek Watershed, and contribute to the completion of two whole-stream restoration efforts.
-- Bradford County Accelerated Watershed Implementation Plan DevelopmentBradford County Conservation District.  Grant Amount: $49,986, Matching Funds: $5,000, Total Project: $54,986
Accelerate planning of Bradford County’s Watershed Implementation Plan in three phases of operation: stream rehabilitation, agricultural management, and stream crossing replacement. Project will address resource gaps in project implementation utilizing Bradford County’s database of planning needs resulting from landowner and/or municipal assistance requests.
-- Wyoming Valley Chesapeake Bay Tributary Field Assessments and Monitoring - Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation. Grant Amount: $50,000, Matching Funds: $18,000, Total Project: $68,000
Conduct field assessments and monitoring of various streamside conditions and structural impediments to aquatic organism passage at culverts throughout the targeted supporting municipalities with a focus on Sugar Notch Run, Solomon, Warrior, Nanticoke, and Newport creeks, along the Susquehanna River in the Wyoming Valley, Luzerne County. Project will communicate and recommend to partners, projects for future improvements and best management practices.
-- Little Beaver Creek Stream and Riparian Buffer RestorationAlliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Grant Amount: $49,998, Total Project: $49,998
Conduct initial feasibility analysis and planning efforts on the highly eroded streambanks of 1,275 foot segment of Little Beaver Creek, which runs through farm property owned in Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Project will result in a report which will outline project scope, permitting requirements, and estimated project costs which will address streambank erosion.
-- Leggett’s Creek Greenway Project - Lackawanna River Conservation Association.  Grant Amount: $50,000, Matching Funds: $35,258, Total Project: $85,258
Address environmental issues caused by past anthracite coal mining activities and commercial and residential development within this sub-watershed which has resulted in a compromised ecosystem lacking in biodiversity. Project will mitigate erosion and sediment loading through the installation of bank stabilization measures, and stormwater runoff management, and monitoring and management program will be established to ensure sustained project efficiency.
-- Strengthening Stronghold Brook Trout Patches through Stream Restoration and Habitat Improvement - Trout Unlimited.  Grant Amount: $274,298, Matching Funds: $167,632, Total Project $441,930
Complete 10 high priority habitat restoration projects and 20 new technical assistance projects located within eastern brook trout stronghold patches in three geographic focus areas in the Chesapeake Bay watershed of Pennsylvania. Project will select focal geographies considering existing partnerships, ownership, access, and presence of both stronghold and persistent eastern brook trout patches.
-- Healthy Streams Farm Stewardship: Chesapeake Logperch Initiative (MD, PA) - Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.   Grant Amount:  $487,837, Matching Funds: $469,000, Total Project: $956,837
Develop and pilot a conservation incentive program that accelerates the adoption and establishment of riparian forest buffers by agricultural producers in the Susquehanna Basin of York County, Pennsylvania and Cecil and Harford counties in Maryland. Project will multiply the amount of implementation of agricultural best management practices, restore 160 acres of riparian forest habitat, and improve the in-stream habitat and passage specifically for the threatened Chesapeake logperch.
-- Establishing an Poultry Litter Matching Service for a Cleaner Bay and Healthy Farms (DE, MD, PA) - Delmarva Poultry Industry. Grant Amount: $49,890, Matching Funds: $10,018, Total Project: $59,908
Develop an online poultry litter matching tool to connect producers with excess litter to improve crop growth and soil health. Project will support the implementation of Maryland’s Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) and Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plans across Delmarva, thereby helping to meet regional water quality and healthy watershed goals.
-- Strengthening the Conservation Community Foundation in the Upper Susquehanna Watershed (NY, PA) -  Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District of New York. Grant Amount: $1,000,000, Matching Funds: $1,060,000, Total Project $2,060,000
Focus on providing training to new and existing staff to further provide a framework for the Upper Susquehanna Coalition to evaluate available programs for future sustainability. Project will implement 114 acres of riparian buffer, 400 acres of prescribed grazing, 3,800 acres of stream corridor restoration and 39 acres of wetland restoration that is estimated to generate nutrient reductions of 4,155 pounds of nitrogen, 689 pounds of phosphorus and 456,130 pounds of sediment annually.
“NRCS supports this collaborative approach with EPA and partners to further conservation on all lands in the Bay watershed,” said Terrell Erickson, NRCS Regional Conservationist of the Northeast.
“This is an investment in projects that improve local streams, rivers and habitat, and ultimately, the Bay,” said Servidio.  “These grants are an example of the substantial support EPA is providing to help our partners reach their 2025 Bay TMDL goals.  Local projects by groups and communities will continue to be critical to our success in achieving clean water.”
Visit the NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund webpage for more information on this program.
[For more information on how Pennsylvania plans to meet its Chesapeake Bay cleanup obligations, visit DEP’s PA’s Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan webpage.      
[How Clean Is Your Stream?
[DEP’s Interactive Water Quality Report Viewer allows you to zoom in on your own stream or watershed to find out how clean your stream is or if it has impaired water quality using the latest information in the draft 2020 Water Quality Report.]
Related Articles This Week:
-- EPA/NFWF Grant Awarded To Chesapeake Conservancy For Precision Conservation In PA
Related Article:
[Posted: Sept. 2, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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