Monday, December 20, 2021

DCNR Awards $333,991 Grant To Stroud Water Research Center For Multifunction Riparian Forest Buffer Pilot Project

On December 20, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced $333,991 in
Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund grant funding for a Stroud Water Research Center water quality pilot project aimed at finding market-driven solutions to improving environmental conditions.

“This project represents a unique and innovative look at addressing a critical need to help improve water quality and stewardship of our freshwater systems in Chester County,” Dunn said. “We are proud to award this grant to Stroud Water Research Center and look forward to seeing the ecological and economic impact strategic agroforestry initiatives can have when focused on and incentivized.”

The grant will help fund Stroud Center’s implementation of 60-acres of multifunctional riparian forest buffers. Multifunctional buffers are an agroforestry practice that provide ecological benefits while producing income. 

Stroud Water Research is partnering with Propagate Ventures to demonstrate proof of concept for investment in agroforestry practices that improve water quality and soil health, while assisting landowners in meeting their production and income goals.

“Stroud Water Research Center deeply appreciates support from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to demonstrate agroforestry as a way of increasing forest cover in Pennsylvania to meet a long list of societal needs from clean water to climate change,”  said Matthew J. Ehrhart, Director of the Robin L. Vannote Watershed Restoration Program within the Stroud Water Research Center. “The unique contribution of Propagate Ventures to this partnership is their ability to help a farmer plan and execute a financially sound and profitable business model that turns a profit while improving natural resources.  We hope this 60-acre demonstration project on three farms will help unleash the private sector potential for this valuable work.”

Analysis supported by the William Penn Foundation supports this pilot project and its intent to encourage farmers to plant trees and shrubs to create or improve freshwater buffers with the long-term goal of measuring the impact buffers have on water quality. 

The project will focus on the lower Susquehanna and Delaware watersheds and will include landowner outreach and engagement, buffer plantings and post-planting establishment, and other related site improvements.

“Our streams and watersheds are not only a source of outdoor recreation in terms of fishing, boating, and supporting wildlife, they’re also a defining aspect of our regional landscape,” said Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester), Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. “I thank DCNR and Stroud Water Research Center for supporting this project. By investing in riparian buffers, we’re investing in the future of waterways and our ecosystems. And when we protect water, we protect our way of life.”

“Stroud Water Research Center, which is located in the 158th legislative district, is world-renowned for its research and conservation work. I’m thrilled they have been awarded these funds, especially for riparian buffer installation, something I have worked on for many years,” Rep. Christina Sappey (D-Chester) said. “Riparian buffers prevent flooding and stream bank erosion, ensuring healthy waterways while also providing natural habitat. As our region faces more frequent and severe storms, these buffers are becoming an increasingly important investment.”

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Stroud Water Research Center website, Click Here to subscribe to UpStream.  Click Here to subscribe to Stroud’s Educator newsletter.  Click Here to become a Friend Of Stroud Research,  Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter and visit their YouTube Channel.

The Chester County-based Stroud Center seeks to advance knowledge and stewardship of freshwater systems through global research, education, and watershed restoration.

[Posted: December 20, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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