Pa. watershed groups awarded $1.1M in Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants

PA Department of Environmental Protection recognizes 28 watershed groups for their efforts in implementing community-led restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Groups split $1.1 million in grants to improve water quality and restore habitats...

HARRISBURG, PA, July 15, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Sec. Kathleen A. McGinty today recognized 28 watershed groups for their efforts in implementing community-led restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The groups received more than $1.1 million in Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants to implement watershed restoration projects and develop innovative, local programs to improve water quality and restore habitats within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

"These grants will help local watershed groups continue their work to clean up our rivers and streams, enhance the quality of life for Pennsylvania families and preserve the rural character and farming economy of our state," McGinty said.

"Every effort we make to clean up the Bay really is a investment in our own water quality," McGinty said. "We are making Pennsylvania a better place, and in doing that we are better neighbors to the Chesapeake Bay as well -- a commitment we take very seriously. Pennsylvania contributes more than half of the Bay's fresh water through the Susquehanna and Potomac watersheds."

Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants provide funding to organizations working at the local level to protect and improve watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay basin while building citizen-based resource stewardship. The program promotes community-based efforts to develop and implement conservation strategies to protect and restore the diverse natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.

Bay restoration leaders gathered today in Lancaster County to announce the grants that will provide $3 million for watershed restoration activities in the six-state Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since its inception, the program has funded nearly $14.3 million in Bay restoration activities.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation administers the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Program in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Program. The program is authorized under the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program Office provides primary funding. Additional funding is also provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment.

For the list of grant recipients, contact Pa. DEP's Kerry Chippo, +1-717-787-1323.

For information on watershed management, visit: www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/watermgt/wc/default.htm.

For more information on the Chesapeake Bay, visit the Pa. DEP website at www.dep.state.pa.us (keyword: "Chesapeake Bay").

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