DEP secretary visits northeast PA to help with student water-monitoring program

Sept. 27, 2002
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary David E. Hess Thursday helped students from Wallenpaupack Area High School in Palmyra Township complete water-quality monitoring and testing on Lake Wallenpaupack.

PALMYRA TOWNSHIP, Pa., Sept. 27, 2002 -- On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary David E. Hess Thursday helped students from Wallenpaupack Area High School in Palmyra Township, Pike County, complete water-quality monitoring and testing on Lake Wallenpaupack.

"I was very impressed with the students' sampling skills and their knowledge of the lake and its watershed," Secretary Hess said. "This is a valuable, hands-on learning experience."

The student water-monitoring program on the lake has been ongoing for five years with assistance from PPL.

"We are glad that Secretary Hess had the opportunity to go out on the lake with our students and see this environmental project first-hand," said Gene Shultz, Wallenpaupack Area High School biology teacher and project coordinator.

The water-monitoring program is part of a seven-day science curriculum that includes a three-day field trip. Students are divided into small groups to study areas that include: Lake Wallenpaupack and its hydroelectric power station; watershed-management practices; lake biology; data analysis; stream and wetland biology; and water and wastewater treatment.

Secretary Hess today also toured a Growing Greener-funded water-monitoring project at Arrowhead Lake in Monroe County, operated by the Tobyhanna Creek/Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Association (TCTCWA).

"This watershed group has developed a comprehensive water-monitoring and environmental-education program," Secretary Hess said. "I was impressed with their expertise and enthusiasm."

The water-monitoring station at Arrowhead Lake is one of more than 30 stream- and lake-sampling locations operated by the watershed association.

"We were glad to have the opportunity to welcome Secretary Hess to our watershed and to discuss our programs and concerns with him," said Herb Wile, TCTCWA president.

The association received a Growing Greener grant of $137,900 two years ago. The grant was used to develop a volunteer-program handbook; conduct an inventory of the watershed; develop additional brochures on watershed- protection education; conduct seminars and workshops; develop a water-quality management program; conduct wetland assessment of Tunkhannock Creek watershed; conduct water-quality monitoring throughout the watershed; and to develop a watershed-wide management and protection plan.

Funding for the Growing Greener program was doubled and extended through 2012 in the state budget signed into law by Gov. Schweiker in June. DEP's portion of Growing Greener funding was increased to $547.7 million from $241.5 million in the original program. It is now funded primarily through a new $4-per-ton waste-disposal fee.

For more information on water quality or Growing Greener, visit the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us/, PA Keyword: "Environmental Protection."
CONTACT: Mark Carmon, Community Relations Coordinator of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 570-826-2511.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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