Five Conservation Districts and PACD Receive 319 Grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded over $4.1 million to 13 projects statewide that will help communities restore impaired local watersheds.

The Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Grants program supports projects that carry out best management practices (BMPs) specified in Watershed Implementation Plans for 36 watersheds around the state, with special consideration for projects in Pennsylvania’s share of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The following conservation district projects received Section 319 Grants:

  • Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts: $362,565 to support nonpoint source pollution education by county conservation district offices.
  • Clearfield County Conservation District: $722,661 for design, permitting, and construction of a passive treatment system to remediate Korb 4 AMD discharge in Little Anderson Creek in Bloom Township.
  • Lancaster County Conservation District: $121,000 to identify and implement projects to install streambank buffers, streambank fencing, and livestock crossings on various tributaries in Mill Creek Watershed.
  • Schuylkill Conservation District: $240,000 to design a streambank restoration project for the Swatara Creek floodplain in Ravine, Tremont Township.
  • York County Conservation District: $508,581 to design, permit and construct a stream restoration project, including streambed and bank stabilization, on Willis Run, a tributary to Codorus Creek, and in the west branch of Codorus Creek, in the City of York.
  • York County Conservation District: $280,898 for Codorus Creek Watershed stream restorations.

Click here to read the entire press release. 

Grant funding is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and authorized through Section 319(h) of the federal Water Pollution Control Act.

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Bradford and Schuylkill Conservation Districts Receive NFWF Grants

On October 12, 2021, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program partnership announced more than $10 million in grants for projects that will protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding watershed.

Fourteen projects that will benefit Pennsylvania received $3.88 million. The conservation district funded projects are:

  1. Bradford County Conservation District – Accelerated Watershed Implementation Plan Development – II. Grant amount: $49,995. The project aims to accelerate the planning of Bradford County’s Watershed Implementation Plan in the areas of stream rehabilitation, agricultural management, stream-crossing replacement, and forestry. The project will address water quality impacts in the county by creating designs for stream rehabilitation and crossings, comprehensive nutrient management, riparian buffer installation, and reforestation.
  2. Schuylkill Conservation District – Little Mahanoy Creek Headwaters Restoration Plan Development. Grant Amount: $50,000. Develop a detailed watershed restoration plan for the headwaters of Little Mahanoy Creek Watershed. The project will provide a blueprint for managing stormwater in the watershed, restoring habitat in the headwaters, and improving water quality to protect the unimpaired downstream sections where trout reproduce naturally.

Click here to read about all the projects. 

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New Round of CREP Mini-grants Opens

PACD is now accepting mini-grant applications for up to $3,000 to implement educational and outreach activities that support and extend the work of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Projects should focus on CREP enrollment, re-enrollment, and/or CREP maintenance.

The guidelines and application for the CREP Mini-grant Program for Conservation Districts are posted here. The deadline to apply is November 12, 2021. Questions should be directed to Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org.

Financial and other support for the CREP Outreach Program Office Mini-grant Program is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a Growing Greener Watershed Protection grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and with additional support from USDA-NRCS.

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Cambria County Conservation District Receives NACD Technical Assistance Grant

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) announced $2.1 million in new technical assistance grants to nearly 60 conservation districts in 23 states and territories. In Pennsylvania, Cambria County Conservation District received a grant.

The funding supports resource technicians, conservation planners, program support specialists, and technical specialists based on local needs and priorities.

Click here to read more. 

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Update on Template Watershed Signage

PACD received a PA Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Education grant for Template Watershed Signage. This project aims to provide templates for conservation districts to use for interpretative signage to educate the public on completed stream restoration projects. The topics are vegetative buffers, fish structures, and macroinvertebrates.

At the request of a conservation district, a smaller version of the template signage is now available (18×24”). These smaller templates are NOT editable. Vacker Signs will make updates for you for a very reasonable price. 

Also, additional multi-seat licensed stock photos and a new log vane deflector illustration are available here(This link includes ALL the template signage materials.)

Thanks to Tammy Piper at Franklin County Conservation District for partnering with PACD on this project. Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org with questions.

Financial and other support for this signage has been provided by the Department of Environmental Protection’s 2020 Environmental Education Grants Program.

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Over $350,000 Still Available for Multi-Functional Riparian Buffer Subgrants

Reminder: PACD is accepting sub-grant applications to implement multi-functional riparian buffers. The implementation of these grants will help the commonwealth plant 95,000 acres of riparian buffers by 2025.

To date, PACD has awarded $307,769 in sub-grants to 19 conservation district projects covering 67.69 acres of multi-functional riparian buffers.

  • 2 grants from Allegheny County Conservation District
  • 1 from Armstrong Conservation District
  • 1 from Berks County Conservation District
  • 2 from Butler County Conservation District
  • 1 from Chester County Conservation District
  • 1 from Columbia County Conservation District
  • 1 from Dauphin County Conservation District
  • 1 from Huntingdon County Conservation District
  • 4 from Indiana County Conservation District
  • 1 from Lancaster County Conservation District
  • 1 from Monroe County Conservation District
  • 2 from Montgomery County Conservation District
  • 1 from Westmoreland Conservation District

This grant is 100% paid. There is no match required.

The guidelines and application for the statewide sub-grant program for conservation districts are available here. Direct questions to Holly Miller at hmiller@pacd.org.

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

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Template Signage Available

PACD received a PA Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Education grant for Template Watershed Signage. This project aims to provide templates for conservation districts to use for interpretative signage to educate the public on completed stream restoration projects. Draft versions of the signs were shown to the watershed specialists during their annual meeting in October.

The templates are complete and now available at this link. The topics are vegetative buffers, fish structures, and macroinvertebrates. The templates are in Publisher so districts can insert their logo, update the URL and phone number, and swap out photos.

Districts may apply for the Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention Mini-grant program (see above) to create a sign using the templates. Contact Shannon Wehinger at swehinger@pacd.org about what should be included in this type of application.

Thanks to Tammy Piper at Franklin County Conservation District for partnering with PACD on this project.

Financial and other support for this signage has been provided by the Department of Environmental Protection’s 2020 Environmental Education Grants Program.

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$384,329 Available for Multi-Functional Riparian Buffer Sub-grants

Reminder: PACD is accepting sub-grant applications to implement multi-functional riparian buffers. The implementation of these grants will help the commonwealth achieve its goal of planting 95,000 acres of riparian buffers by 2025.

To date, PACD has awarded $311,822 in sub-grants to 16 conservation districts covering 63.95 acres of multi-functional riparian buffers.

This grant is 100% paid. There is no match required.

The guidelines and applications for the statewide sub-grant program for conservation districts are available here. Direct questions to Amy Brown at abrown@pacd.org.

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

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Three PA Projects Funded through RCPP Program

Berks, Armstrong, and Butler Conservation Districts among partners

USDA’s Natural Resources Service (NRCS) announced it is investing in 48 conservation projects across 29 states through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). NRCS will award $206 million for these 48 RCPP projects while leveraging nearly $300 million in partner contributions.

Three projects were selected for funding in Pennsylvania:

  • Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape
    Lead partner: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
    Funding amount: $ 9,928,571
    The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will target the long-term protection of farmland and deciduous forests in the Kittatinny Ridge corridor of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Farm and forest land preservation investments in this region ensure food security for a growing population, support Pennsylvania’s robust agricultural economy, and protect wildlife habitat in a region home to threatened and endangered species.

  • Ag BMP Implementation in the Chesapeake Bay
    Lead partner: Berks County Conservation District
    Funding amount: $2,232,14
    The Berks County Conservation District will implement Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP) and establish near stream conservation practices such as riparian buffers, filter strips, and animal exclusion fencing on operations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The partners intend to model the project’s water quality improvements and report on nutrient and sediment load reductions generated by conservation implementation by producers.

  • Buffalo Creek Watershed Conservation Alliance
    Lead partner: Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania
    Funding amount: $1,169,618
    The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, supported by several local partners, plans to carry out conservation planning, implement conservation practices, and purchase easements to support the long-term goal of delisting Buffalo Creek, currently designated as an impaired water body. The watershed designated as an Important Bird Area and is home to several threatened wildlife species including Eastern hellbender and Indiana bat.
    Project Partner: The Armstrong Conservation District: “The Armstrong Conservation District is proud to partner with Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, The American Chestnut Foundation, and the Butler Conservation District to deliver high quality conservation programs and projects to our cooperators and landowners in the Buffalo Creek Watershed.” District Manager Dave Rupert states, “this partnership among our neighboring Butler Conservation District and two other highly respected non-governmental organizations is something that we have discussed for years and is now going to be a reality.”

Click here to view all the projects funded and here for the press release. 

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$542,756 Available for Multi-Functional Riparian Buffer Sub-grants

Reminder: PACD is accepting sub-grant applications to implement multi-functional riparian buffers. The implementation of these grants will help the commonwealth achieve its goal of planting 95,000 acres of riparian buffers by 2025.

To date, PACD has awarded $158,000 in sub-grants to 10 conservation districts covering 30 acres of multi-functional riparian buffers.

The guidelines and applications for this new statewide sub-grant program for conservation districts are available here. Direct questions to Amy Brown at abrown@pacd.org.

Financial and other support for this project is provided by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

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