More than 10 miles and 30 acres of streamside habitat in southeastern Pennsylvania are being restored, thanks to the efforts of conservation organizations working in partnership with Williams.
Williams is working with six conservation groups to implement nine high-value aquatic management projects in Lancaster, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties. The effort is part of the larger Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program, which includes voluntarily supporting conservation projects that will benefit natural resources and support communities within the Atlantic Sunrise project area.
Here is a video chronicling the success of the aquatic management projects:
One unique water quality improvement project was developed by Donegal Trout Unlimited in Lancaster County. According to Conservation Chairman Bob Kutz, Donegal Trout Unlimited was $30,000 short of its fundraising goal before Williams came through.
“We had funding, but that fell through at the last minute,” Kutz said. “Williams entered at the perfect time to help complete the project in one year.”
The project included the removal of debris and invasive species of trees and vines, followed by the installation of extensive erosion control and stream-bank stabilization. Since the project’s completion, Kutz reports that erosion has decreased, brook trout are living in the rebuilt section of the stream and students studying stream ecology tour the site.
“DTU is very appreciate of the Williams grants. They not only helped fund the projects, but they accelerated them,” Kutz said. “We would have been three, four, five years down the road before we would have found additional funding.”
The Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program is supporting 17 conservation projects with more than $2.5 million in funding to support the construction of new trails, to restore wildlife habitat along streams and to prevent thousands of pounds of harmful nutrients from entering waterways.
The Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program is a voluntary program and is not designed to replace traditional compensatory mitigation requirements of state and federal permitting agencies.