|The Coldwater Heritage Partnership recently announced that over $58,000 in grants have been awarded to local organizations to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater streams. The Coldwater Heritage Partnership is a cooperative initiative amongst Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.
"This type of grassroots conservation work is vital for the future of the state's coldwater streams and wild trout fisheries,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “Coldwater conservation plans help to build local awareness and support for the long-term stewardship of coldwater streams and their surrounding watersheds.”
This year the Coldwater Heritage Partnership awarded both planning and implementation grants. Organizations funded by a planning grant will be responsible for creating a Coldwater Conservation plan that:
- Gathers existing data about the coldwater ecosystem;
- Identifies potential impacts, threats, problems and opportunities to our coldwater streams;
- Formulates a plan of action for proposed conservation and protection strategies; and,
- Builds community awareness and support for the conservation of our coldwater streams.
Organizations that received an implementation grant will complete projects identified in previously completed coldwater conservation plans. Potential projects must enhance, conserve, or protect coldwater streams for which the original coldwater conservation plan recommended.
“Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited is excited to award grants to worthy organizations for the conservation and protection of their local streams,” stated Ken Undercoffer, President of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.
Grants have been given to the following organizations:
Berks County Conservation District, Berks County:
- $6,000 to create a coldwater conservation plan for the Wyomissing Creek Watershed to target areas of concern and where future implementation projects will occur.
Juniata County Conservation District, Juniata County:
- $6,000 to create a conservation plan that will build upon and validate ongoing water chemical monitoring data that has already been collected and help determine any areas of concern within the watershed for utilization of future BMP implementation funds that the district acquire for restoration projects.
Somerset County Conservation District, Somerset County:
- $5,525 to assess the North Fork of Bens Creek chemically, biologically, and physically, in order to develop a comprehensive plan for future conservation management recommendations.
Schuylkill Headwaters Association, Schuylkill County:
- $6,000 to develop a conservation plan on Big Creek that will identify sources of impairments in the watershed and outline remediation strategies to improve the water quality in Big Creek so that it can be a healthy coldwater fishery.
Iron Furnace Trout Unlimited, Clarion County
- $6,907 to conduct a preliminary watershed assessment to quantify current conditions to be used to identify and develop conservation activities and direct the development of a more in-depth comprehensive assessment.
Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, Somerset County
- $6201 to develop a watershed management plan on Beaverdam Run, a former Class A wild trout stream threatened by acid deposition and industrial development.
Trout Unlimited Eastern Abandoned Mine Program, Clearfield County
- $6,497 to assess the coldwater resources of the upper Potts Run watershed and will lead to the completion of the comprehensive conservation/restoration plan for the watershed.
Plainfield Township, Northampton County
- $7,000 to develop a coldwater conservation plan that documents baseline data for the Little Bushkill Creek coldwater ecosystem and watershed to serve as a foundation for water resource protection through prioritized recommendations that will be included in the plan and will be tied to efforts to increase community awareness of the watershed, its natural resources and its environmental and conservation issues of concern.
Bushkill Stream Conservancy, Northampton County
- $8,000 to install riparian buffers where buffers have been impacted by the past clearing and educate riparian landowners and local citizens about the values of buffer and other riparian resources in the upper Bushkill Creek basin.
Besides offering grants, the Coldwater Heritage Partnership works to provide leadership, coordination and technical and educational assistance to organizations interested in protecting coldwater ecosystems. For additional information, please contact Samantha Kutskel at (814) 359-5233, or visit the Coldwater Heritage website at www.coldwaterheritage.org.
Phone: (814) 359-5233