Thursday, February 8, 2024

Conservation Coordinators Join CBF To Accelerate The Renewal Project For The Pequea And Halfmoon Watersheds In Central PA

On February 9, the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation announced Isabel “Izzy” Snee and Mariah Saunders have joined the CBF team as conservation coordinators, working to accelerate progress toward bringing impaired streams back to health in parts of four Pennsylvania counties.

The work by Snee and Saunders continues momentum created by Pequea Creek and Halfmoon Creek Watershed Implementation Plans coordinated by CBF. 

The Pequea Creek watershed is in Lancaster and Chester counties. Halfmoon Creek watershed is in Centre and Huntingdon counties.

Their goals during the new five-year Pequea and Halfmoon Creeks Watershed Renewal Project are to reduce pollution and restore the health of streams in both watersheds that are impaired by nonpoint source runoff, like certain agricultural activities.

“The renewal project represents an evolution in CBF’s work to reduce pollution to Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams. Using our plans as a guide, this project will accelerate implementing key practices to bring streams back to health, improve wildlife habitat critical to critters like the brook trout, and enhance local appreciation of our local waters,” said Harry Campbell, CBF Science Policy and Advocacy Director in Pennsylvania.

“Izzy and Mariah bring valuable experience to taking the renewal project to the next level,” Campbell added. “We are excited to have them working with farmers, landowners, and partners in Pequea and Halfmoon to get the plans implemented.”

“Engaging with the community is the foundation of conservation,” Snee said. “It’s getting them interested and giving them the motivation as to why they should care. A lot of people already have that, they just don’t know what they can do in a practical sense. I’m looking forward to engaging with farmers, our partners in the Pequea Creek watershed, and hearing other ideas.”

“Building relationships within the Halfmoon Creek watershed represents a wide breadth of opportunities,” Saunders added. “The entire implementation plan and its success will rely heavily on partnerships constructed there.”

The basis for the renewal project is two innovative watershed management plans already completed by CBF, that combine emerging high-resolution watershed data and modeling with extensive local collaboration. 

The project will also offer a series of hands-on farmer-to-farmer conservation field days to teach and engage farmers through hands-on experiences.

Pequea Creek

Of the 240 miles of streams in the Pequea Creek watershed, the near-term priority is restoration of 41 miles that do not meet water quality standards for aquatic life. 

Under the Pequea plan, funding will be used to keep soils and nutrients on the land with such practices as cover crops, no-till agriculture, riparian buffers, streambank fencing, streambank stabilization, and other practices.

Also in the Pequea watershed, access and use of non-motorized cover crop and no-till equipment will be available for use by Plain Sect farmers.

Snee, from Washington, D.C., joined CBF having served as a horticultural conservationist, engaging in field research collection, collaboration with botanic institutions, conservation agencies, and landowners,  tours and lectures at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA.

She worked for the Quivira Coalition in Montana in conservation agriculture and was a sustainable agricultural operator and cattle specialist with the renowned Warren Wilson College Farm in Asheville, N.C. She also interned at the Smithsonian Gardens in Maryland. 

Snee has a bachelor of science degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology and a concentration in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College. 

Halfmoon Creek

The goals for the Halfmoon Creek watershed are to reduce sediment, preserve critical landscapes, restore degraded landscapes, and foster stewardship of the watershed. 

Of the 32 miles of streams, a priority is restoring roughly 10 miles of headwaters in the Bald Eagle Region.

Saunders is from Annapolis, Md., and was recently at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center serving as a teaching assistant in Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture, and education intern.

She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Environmental Studies and Classical Civilizations from Wesleyan University. 

Her undergraduate thesis was on fostering cultural engagement and environmental stewardship through Place-Based Education in the Chesapeake Bay, earning her high honors from the Bailey College of the Environment.


Funding acquired by US Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), is moving the five-year project forward. 

The senators requested $2.18 million for the Pequea Creek watershed restoration plan. Senator Casey sought an additional $1.06 million for the Halfmoon Creek watershed plan. The plans also are eligible for federal funding through the Clean Water Act and other sources.

Funding vital for development of both plans was made possible by the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

For more on Chesapeake Bay-related issues in Pennsylvania, visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA webpage.  Click Here to sign up for Pennsylvania updates (bottom of left column).  Click Here to support their work.

Also visit the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership to learn how you can help clean water grow on trees.

CBF has over 275,000 members in Bay Watershed.

How Clean Is Your Stream?

The draft 2024 report has an interactive report viewer that allows you to zoom in to your own address to see if the streams near you are impaired and why.

Click Here to check out your streamsClick Here for a tutorial on using the viewer.

Related Articles - Watersheds:

-- Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership Presents Mira Lloyd Dock Diversity Awards To Marlisa Yoder-Bontrager Of Lancaster, And Twin Sisters Keisha & Tarsha Scovens Off Lancaster & Philadelphia; Forestry Assn. Honors Nancy Baker  [PaEN] 

-- PennVEST Announces Award Of $14.8 Million To Purchase Verified Nutrient, Sediment Reduction Credits From 5 Successful Bidders In Chesapeake Bay Watershed  [PaEN]

-- WPCAMR: Watershed Groups Statewide Can Qualify For Quick Response Mine Drainage Treatment System, Watershed Restoration Project Repair Funding - By Andy McAllister, Western PA Coalition For Abandoned Mine Reclamation  [PaEN]

-- Call For Proposals: $1.25 Million Available For Service Providers, Graduate Students To Advance Sustainable Agriculture In Northeast  [PaEN]

-- Lancaster Clean Water Partners: Local Church Congregations Are Stewarding Clean Water  [PaEN]

-- Conservation Coordinators Join CBF To Accelerate The Renewal Project For The Pequea And Halfmoon Watersheds In Central PA  [PaEN]

-- Penn State Extension Ag Conservation Currents: Strayer Farm Conservation Success Story; Integrating Grazing Into No-Till; Upcoming Educational Opportunities  

-- Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy To Host March 8 Perkiomen Stormwater Management Symposium In Montgomery County [PaEN]

-- DEP: Commonwealth Court Issues Order Appointing PA American Water Company Receiver For East Dunkard Water System Authority In Greene County Due To Compliance Issues  [PaEN]

-- Penn State Extension Ag Conservation Currents: Strayer Farm Conservation Success Story; Integrating Grazing Into No-Till; Upcoming Educational Opportunities

-- Forests For Chesapeake Bay - A Healthy Woodlands Partnership: Livestaking 101; Amphibians Surviving Winter; Yellow Birch; Much More!


-- Rodale Institute: 5 Year, 5 State, 500 Farm Climate-Smart Practice Trial Tests Environmental, Economic Benefits Of Cover Crops And Other Regenerative Farming Methods

-- Middle Susquehanna RiverKeeper Blog: People Encouraged To Use Their Talents And Passions To Give A ‘Voice To The Vulnerable’ Across Watershed - By John Zaktansky

-- Chesapeake Bay Journal - Karl Blankenship: New Chesapeake Bay Program Director Takes Over At Critical Time

-- Chesapeake Bay Journal Forum: Restoring The Chesapeake Bay - It’s Past Time For A Change

[Posted: February 8, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner