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12/18/2019

Wolf Administration Invests in Stream Buffer Projects to Benefit Local Economy, Water Quality

​Harrisburg, PA -- The Wolf Administration today announced the approval of new funding for stream buffer projects in eight counties. Nearly $1 million in grant funding will support tree and income-producing species plantings along streams to help keep nutrients and sediments from the land from impacting water quality.

“These projects will provide many benefits such as cleaner water and habitats, as well as generating some income to the landowners, as the streamside buffers will include species that can be harvested and sold,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.

DCNR administers the grants with funding from PENNVEST.

“Unique, innovative projects like these are exemplary of PENNVEST’s continued mission to serve as financial partners for clean water efforts,” said PENNVEST Executive Director Brion Johnson. “Not only do they further our water quality goals as a commonwealth, but they also provide a direct benefit to landowners who choose to invest in creative conservation efforts.”

The projects approved include multi-functional buffers. They contain species such as nut trees, berries, and willows in buffer zones so that the landowner can sell these products, and realize some income from land dedicated to buffers.

Properly planted and maintained, streamside tree and shrub plantings filter the runoff of sediments and fertilizers that are applied to lawns and crops; control erosion; slow stormwater runoff; cool stream temperatures; and improve fish habitat.

The grants by county are:

Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Luzerne, Northumberland, Sullivan, and Union: Native Creations Landscape Services, $754,473, for construction of approximately 77 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffers along waterways in the Susquehanna River watershed. Work will include landowner outreach and engagement, buffer plantings, and post-planting establishment.

Lancaster: Earthbound Artisan LLC, $240,177, for construction of approximately 18 acres of multi-functional riparian forest buffers along waterways in the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed, Lancaster County. The work include landowner outreach and engagement, buffer plantings, and post-planting establishment.

Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of stream buffers by 2025. Maintaining and restoring buffers along rivers and streams is a key strategy for improving water quality and aquatic habitat, aquatic habitat, and meeting Pennsylvania’s Total Maximum Daily Load goals in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Buffer grants also are available in the DCNR grant round that will open on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. More information about streamside buffers is on the DCNR website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Christina Novak, 717-772-9101

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