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State Investment to Plant Streamside Forest Buffers
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 11/08/2019

The Wolf Administration Thursday announced grant funding to plant trees along streams in Lancaster County to improve water quality in Pennsylvania, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay. An investment of $500,000 from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund will support the planting of about 120 acres of streamside (riparian) buffers in the Susquehanna River watershed, coordinated by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

"By slowing down runoff after it rains, and filtering out sediments and nutrients, streamside forest buffers are among the best practices to help us clean up our rivers and streams in Pennsylvania," Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. "We're especially pleased to be able to put this money on the ground in Lancaster County, where residents have been working hard to make the county's streams clean and clear, and where there is the largest opportunity for Pennsylvania to make progress on its clean water goals in the Chesapeake Bay watershed."

The grant to the Alliance is one of five grants totaling $759,600 for streamside forest buffers. The others, funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, are:

- Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Fulton, Huntingdon, Potter, and Somerset Counties -- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, $50,000, for about 14 acres of riparian forest buffers;

- Blair, Centre and Huntingdon Counties -- ClearWater Conservancy, $71,600, for about 8 acres of riparian forest buffers in the Susquehanna River watershed;

- Lackawanna, Lehigh, Northampton and Wayne Counties -- Wildlands Conservancy, $88,000, for about 15 acres of riparian forest buffers along waterways in the Lehigh River watershed.; and

- Lehigh and Northampton Counties -- Wildlands Conservancy, $50,000, for landowner outreach and two riparian forest buffer demonstration sites.

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.

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