Wednesday, January 24, 2024

DEP Awards $573,000 To 10 Projects To Protect Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone; $268,000 To 5 Projects To Protect Lake Erie Coastal Zone

On January 24, the Department of Environmental Protection announced the award of $573,000 to support 10 projects to protect the
Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone and $268,000 for five projects to protect the Lake Erie Coastal Zone.

“The Coastal Zone Grants are aimed at supporting programs that measure the impact of various pollution sources, improve public access, preserve habitats, and educate the public about the benefits of the state’s coastal zones," said DEP Interim Acting Secretary, Jessica Shirley. "Each year, recipients of these grants do amazing work and the DEP is committed to continue supporting these partners with grant funding and technical assistance."  

A coastal zone is an area where land meets the coast and includes both coastal waters and adjacent shorelands. 

Coastal zones are also under increasing pressure from development, erosion, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Coastal Zone Grants are awarded to projects related to fisheries, wetlands, recreation, public education, coastal hazards such as bluff recession, and other areas. 

Grants may also be awarded to other projects in the watershed that have an impact on coastal waters. 

Lake Erie Coastal Zone

The 77-mile Lake Erie coastal zone is in Erie County and includes the Lake Erie shoreline and several major tributaries. The coastal zone also extends to the middle of the lake, to the international boundary with Canada, and inland an average of 1.4 miles. 

Approved projects include-- 

-- Erie Bird Observatory – $45,277 for songbird migration research and visitor engagement at Presque Isle State Park

-- Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development – $75,000 for coordination and technical assistance with Lake Erie coastal zone grantees, municipalities, and residents

-- Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development – $7,000 to assist Lake Erie coastal communities in administering the Bluff Recession and Setback Act of 1980

-- Regional Science Consortium – $65,831 to establish a boat shrink-wrap recycling program along Lake Erie

-- Regional Science Consortium – $74,940 to track Yellow Perch migration between Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie 

Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone

The 112-mile Delaware Estuary coastal zone is in Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia Counties and encompasses islands, marshes, and other areas in the Delaware Estuary watershed. It is the largest freshwater port in the world. 

Approved projects include-- 

-- Delaware County

-- City of Chester – $40,000 to conduct the Chester Creek Trail Connector Project feasibility study 

-- Montgomery County

-- Cheltenham Township – $75,000 to conduct Phase 1 planning and design for the Robinson Park Wetland and Stream Restoration

-- Montgomery & Berks Counties

-- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary – $70,796 for the Schuylkill Action Students- Green Stormwater Infrastructure Strategy for Schuylkill Watershed Schools Initiative in Montgomery and Berks Counties 

-- Philadelphia County

-- Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission – $50,000 to implement the Coastal Management Program in the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone

-- Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission – $50,000 to investigate multi-municipal planning efforts for Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone municipalities

-- Fund for the Water Works (Fairmount Water Works) – $41,000 for planning and design of the Floating Water Workshop

-- John Bartram Association – $64,595 for the Community River Access Program and Environmental Education at Bartram’s Garden

-- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. – $72,301 to conduct Delaware Riverfest 2024 events that educate the public about coastal recreation, historic sites, and public access

-- Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful – $35,000 to conduct community cleanups and marine debris removal in the Delaware Estuary

-- Schuylkill River Development Corporation – $75,000 to complete final design of the Bartram’s to Passyunk segment of the Schuylkill Banks Trail.

Pennsylvania’s Coastal Resources Management Program (CRMP) receives an annual grant award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A portion of this award is used to fund eligible projects that address CRMP priorities. 

The funds are distributed through sub-grant awards to local and state government agencies as well as nonprofit groups with projects located in the Delaware Estuary or Lake Erie Coastal Zones. 

Next Grant Round

Applications are accepted late August through mid-October with project funding awarded on or around October 1 of the following year. 

To learn more about Coastal Zone grants, visit DEP’s Coastal Resources Management Program webpage. 

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Report Emergencies, Submit Environmental Complaints; Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter; sign up for DEP’s eNotice; visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

Related Article - Watersheds:

-- National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Now Accepting Applications For Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund Grants; Webinar Jan. 30; Project Coaching  [PaEN] 

-- Mountain Watershed Assn. Files Petition To Designate Parts Of Donegal Township Unsuitable For Coal Mining In Westmoreland County  [PaEN] 


-- Chesapeake Bay Journal - Karl Blankenship: Scientists Ponder How Well Are Farm Conservation Practices Helping The Chesapeake Bay?

-- Sen. Yaw Elected Chair Of PA Delegation To Interstate Chesapeake Bay  Commission

-- Altoona Mirror: Altoona Water Authority Receives $134,000 DEP Grant For Passive Mine Drainage Treatment System

-- The Center Square: Voter Referendum For New Warehouses Proposed

-- Financial Times: Hurdles In Turning Soil Into A Carbon Sink By Adopting Regenerative Agriculture

[Posted: January 24, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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