Growing Greener Grant to Boost Rapid Stream De-listing Effort

Annapolis, MD – Today, Chesapeake Conservancy and partners announced that projects proposed by Centre County Conservation District, ClearWater Conservancy, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Lycoming County Conservation District and Chesapeake Conservancy were among those selected to receive funding through the Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Program.

“30 X 30” Stream Restoration Initiative

In April 2021 Governor Wolf announced support for the “30 x 30” stream restoration initiative, a collaborative effort to restore the health of 30 agriculturally-impaired streams by 2030. The many community partners include the PA Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Chesapeake Conservancy, 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.

The “30 x 30” stream restoration initiative supports community-based efforts that are already underway to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to 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 address resource concerns (for example, by improving barnyards and planting trees along waterways) to help restore streams near their land. Pollution reductions achieved through this initiative will also contribute to Pennsylvania’s goals for the Phase 3 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.

Growing Greener Grant

The Growing Greener grant award will further the “30 by 30” initiative, specifically for streams in central Pennsylvania.

“Local partners have been reaching out to farmers over the past year and lining up projects that will significantly improve creeks and streams. This strategy focuses agricultural restoration projects where they will improve water quality and habitat for fish and aquatic insects the fastest,” said Chesapeake Conservancy Program Manager Carly Dean. “The Growing Greener grant provides essential funding for restoration on three farms and includes additional funding for new projects to be identified through farmer outreach that’s underway.”

Restoration Projects Funded by Growing Greener Grant

Halfmoon Creek Watershed (2)

A stream restoration project in the Halfmoon Creek Watershed in western Centre County involves a full farm restoration, including installation of a manure storage facility, streambank fencing, wetland and in-stream restoration,  and streamside tree planting. Partners include Centre County Conservation District, ClearWater Conservancy, and the Northcentral Stream Restoration Partnership.

A second project is also in the Halfmoon Creek Watershed and includes in-stream restoration of 441 linear feet of streambanks. The project will complement already completed streambank fencing and tree planting as well as barnyard best management practices installed previously by ClearWater Conservancy and Centre County Conservation District, respectively.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity provided by the Growing Greener Program to continue our work with farmers and rural landowners to improve the health of streams and water quality both locally and downstream,” said Colleen DeLong, habitat stewardship biologist for ClearWater Conservancy. “Support from landowners and partners like Chesapeake Conservancy makes it possible to be the best possible stewards of the region’s land and water resources.”

Pine Run Watershed

The third project will take place within the Pine Run Watershed in western Lycoming County. The farm properties will undergo in-stream restoration to address deeply eroding banks and reconnect the stream channel with the floodplain. Partners on the project include Partners for Fish and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Lycoming County Conservation District.

“We are very grateful for Governor Wolf’s commitment to restore the health of agriculturally-impaired streams in Pennsylvania. While there is significant work to be done, there is also significant support and strong partnerships. Together, we can do hard things,” said Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn.