HARRISBURG – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) celebrates with partners and farmers the award of a $375,000 Growing Greener grant that will enable vital on-farm water quality improvements to continue and to expand in north central Pennsylvania.
The grant award, announced just last week by Gov. Tom Corbett, is one of 118 Growing Greener grants, totaling $20.65 million. CBF will utilize these new Growing Greener funds to expand restoration work with the ultimate goal of improving water quality in priority, impaired watersheds.
To do that, CBF, partners, and farmers in north central and central Pennsylvania will establish new streamside buffers and make improvements to existing buffers, protect and enhance fisheries habitats, and establish a variety of on-farm conservation improvements that are shown to improve water quality.
The statewide Growing Greener conservation funding program is a vital resource for organizations and groups whose mission it is to improve rivers and streams. Growing Greener grants are awarded specifically to enhance efforts that protect and improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage (AMD), and to support educational programs and other critical conservation related efforts.
“The Growing Greener program has played a vital role in improving water quality in the Commonwealth for well over a decade now,” said Harry Campbell, CBF’s Pennsylvania Director. “The importance of this funding source cannot be over-stated, and the clean water successes that have resulted from the program are to be celebrated.”
Thanks in large part to a previous Growing Greener grant, CBF, partners, and 41 farmers recently celebrated a significant clean water achievement- the establishment of 36 miles of streamside forested buffers in Bradford, Susquehanna, Sullivan, Wyoming, and Lycoming counties.
These streamside buffers will help to improve local and downstream water quality, provide habitat for fish and other wildlife, and very importantly – help to keep our farms viable. Additionally more than 219 different conservation projects were completed on these farms, which will further help to reduce pollution and improve water quality.
This work is part of CBF’s Pennsylvania Watershed Restoration Program, and builds on the organization’s 15 years of restoration experience. These restoration efforts result in direct improvements to local and downstream water quality.
“The Growing Greener Program not only helps CBF engage in on-the-ground restoration work, which improves water quality in our own backyards,” continued Campbell. “But it is also a vital resource to be utilized toward meeting Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Blueprint requirements.”
CBF is one of 162 groups or organizations that applied for this round of Growing Greener funding, for a total request of $41.8 million.