Gov. Wolf, Chesapeake Conservancy & Partners Announce Initiative to Restore 30 Agriculturally Impaired Streams by 2030

From the Office of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

Two administration employees honored for being ‘Champions of the Chesapeake’ 

Governor Tom Wolf marked Earth Day today by joining the Chesapeake Conservancy to announce a new collaborative environmental initiative for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to restore the health of 30 agriculturally-impaired streams by 2030.

“The Pennsylvania rivers and streams that drain into the Chesapeake Bay are the backbone of many communities across the commonwealth. Restoring those rivers and streams brings back recreation opportunities like fishing and boating, and improves water quality, which helps communities downstream. This ‘30 x 30’ stream restoration effort will build on the type of work that my administration, the Chesapeake Conservancy and many others are doing every day to help Pennsylvania farmers restore streambanks, install best management practices, and continue to be stewards of the land,” Gov. Wolf said. “Restoring Pennsylvania’s waters pays dividends here in our communities and downstream, and I am proud to join this effort.”

“On behalf of the Chesapeake Conservancy and our partners, we thank Governor Wolf for his commitment to this exciting effort to restore 30 streams by 2030,” said Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn. “Partners working from Lycoming to Lancaster County have identified 30 streams where collaborative restoration can restore stream health most quickly and remove the stream from the impaired waters list. While more resources are still needed, we are already seeing tangible results in Pennsylvania’s local streams from public and private investments. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has been a valuable partner in helping to shape this initiative and ensuring monitoring is in place to evaluate success at key milestones.”

The “30 x 30” stream restoration initiative will support community-based efforts that are already underway to reduce pollution and sediment in Pennsylvania streams and provide healthy habitats for fish and wildlife, outdoor recreation, and better water quality for local communities. The effort directly supports agricultural landowners seeking to restore local streams near their land.

Many community partners have engaged in this effort, including the PA Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), seven county conservation districts, as well as the dozens of nonprofits, research institutions, and local, federal, and state agencies involved with central PA Precision Conservation Partnership, Lancaster Clean Water Partners, and the Live Stake Collaborative.

To celebrate DEP’s and strong contributions to this community-based stream restoration effort, Governor Wolf bestowed the “Champion of the Chesapeake” award on behalf of Chesapeake Conservancy to two DEP employees, Marcus Kohl and Jason Fellon.

The award, which is Chesapeake Conservancy’s signature award celebrating conservation leadership in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, recognizes Kohl and Fellon’s longtime efforts and innovative leadership to improve the quality of Pennsylvania’s environment for the benefit of the commonwealth’s people, wildlife, and habitats. The award further recognizes the outstanding contributions of DEP as a whole to improve and to protect Pennsylvania’s environment.

“Marcus and Jason are just two examples of the exemplary work that DEP staff do day in and day out. This accolade is well deserved, and the type of work they have overseen and directed will be what achieves the ’30 x 30′ milestone,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

“Marcus and Jason epitomize one of the bedrock principles of my administration: Government that works. Their dedication and collaboration have led to millions of dollars in investments into clean, healthy streams, like the Turtle Creek watershed in Union County,” Gov. Wolf said. “I’m proud to acknowledge them for their roles in projects that make Pennsylvania a better place.”

Video of the governor’s remarks on today’s event are available online and for download.