The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Monday that 13 projects in eight Southcentral Pennsylvania counties, aimed at watershed restoration and protection, have been awarded more than $4.7 million in funding through this year’s Growing Greener grants.
In Berks County, projects include the Berks County Conservation District, Little Cacoosing Creek Restoration, $374,128, and Fleetwood Borough, Willow Creek Streambank Restoration Phase 1, $145,438.
“Growing Greener is the single largest investment of state funds that goes directly towards addressing critical environmental concerns of the 21st century,” said DEP Southcentral Regional Director Rod Nesmith.
“Now in its third decade, DEP’s Growing Greener continues to play an essential role in restoring and protecting the health of streams and rivers in communities across Pennsylvania. The grant program provides necessary funding for a variety of projects focused on creating a cleaner environment for all Pennsylvanians.”
Growing Greener grants are awarded for projects in three categories: watershed restoration and protection; abandoned mine reclamation; and abandoned oil and gas well plugging projects. Statewide, this year’s awards exceed $18 million and will fund projects focused on design, construction, education, and outreach.
The funds are distributed to non-profit organizations, watershed groups and county and municipal governments to address local and regional water quality issues. Grantees have up to three years to implement their projects from the award date.
Three other agencies also received funds to distribute for appropriate projects: the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to administer farmland preservation projects, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for state park renovations and improvements, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for water and sewer system upgrades.