The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds

News

Funding Available

April 16 2012

As provided by American Rivers:

American Rivers is now accepting proposals for a wide variety of projects aimed at protecting and restoring the forests, wetlands and streams of the Potomac Highlands Region. The Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant Program is a partnership of American Rivers and the Environmental Protection Agency. These grants are designed to provide support for communities in specific portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Funds have become available for a 2nd funding round. Proposals are due Friday, May 25th, 2012. Grants will range from $150,000 – $300,000. A 25% non-federal match is required. State, local and tribal governments, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. A great diversity of implementation phase project types are eligible.

Complete details are available at www.AmericanRivers.org/PotomacHighlands. Please review these materials thoroughly when developing a proposal. If, after reviewing the information available, you have additional questions, please contact the region-specific American Rivers staff person below.

  • Maryland: Serena McClain, 202-347-7550, ext. 3004
  • Pennsylvania (Bedford, Fulton, Somerset counties): Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy, 412-727-6130
  • Pennsylvania (Franklin, Adams counties): Laura Craig, 856-786-9000
  • Virginia: Serena McClain, 202-347-7550, ext. 3004
  • West Virginia: Jamie Mierau, 202-347-7550, ext. 3003

Call for Action

April 16 2012

Dear Partner in Conservation and Preservation,

We need your help today. Governor Corbett’s has proposed to eliminate all conservation, park and recreation funding from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund in his next state budget.

Not only that, the Governor proposes that the termination of funding be made permanent. This means a loss of $30M for conservation in 2012-13, and far more in the long run–the biggest cut to conservation funding ever proposed in Pennsylvania.

The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds urges our friends and colleagues to speak up in opposition to these drastic cuts.  Sign the online petition to oppose these harmful cuts at www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/2012budget.

It gets worse. The budget proposal would also divert the state’s cigarette sales tax from its historical purpose of funding farmland preservation to funding the general fund, a permanent diversion that will eventually kill this enormously successful program.

The budget proposal further continues the practice of using the Environmental Stewardship Fund to pay the Growing Greener II bond debt service, leaving just $23 million available for Growing Greener conservation programs and projects next year–the lowest level of funding in recent decades.

We don’t have to sit by and watch elected officials siphon money from our conservation programs.  Sign the online petition to oppose these harmful cuts at www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/2012budget.

Together we can remind the Governor that Pennsylvanians put a high priority on our precious land and water resources.  Thank you for making your voice heard!

John Dawes

Executive Director

Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds

Earth Day Focus

April 03 2012

The DEP announced this year it has developed an Earth Day page. The page highlights Earth Day activities across the Commonwealth, and provides insights into this year’s celebrations. Check it out by clicking here!

Earth Day Event Scheduled

March 27 2012

Bedford County Outdoor Education announced its venue and itinerary for this year’s Earth Day event. To learn more click here.

AmeriCorps Week

March 13 2012

FPW is pleased to support watershed groups’ AmeriCorps’ needs. Members provide invaluable service, expertise, and leadership. Congratulations to all past members, and thank you for all the help you provide our grantees.

To learn more about AmeriCorps’ Week click here.

To see a brief photo essay created by the Pennsylvania Mountains Service Corps click here.

CBF Photo Contest Announced

March 13 2012

As provided by CBF:

For Immediate Release

March 12, 2012

For Information Contact

Kelly Donaldson, 717/234-5550

CBF PHOTO CONTEST UNDERWAY

Pennsylvania Photographers: Let Water Be Your Inspiration!

(HARRISBURG) – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) announces its eighth annual watershed photo contest. Photo submissions are being accepted through April 13. Photographers of all skill levels, ages 13 and up are encouraged to participate to win the top cash prize of $500.00, and have their photo featured in CBF’s award-winning publications.

The contest promotes awareness of conservation issues relating to the Chesapeake Bay and local rivers and streams. CBF is seeking images from around the watershed that illustrate the beauty, benefits, and bounty of the Bay and its rivers and streams. Photos can illustrate a wide variety of topics, but all MUST include water in the photo.

“The photos submitted to our contest have been stunning and show how connected people are to this wonderful resource,” said Jennifer Wallace, Managing Editor and contest organizer.

All winners will receive a cash award ranging from the top prize of $500.00 to $100.00. The first prize winner also receives a premium spot in the CBF 2013 calendar. All winners will also receive a one-year membership to CBF and will have their photos displayed on CBF’s website, in a CBF e-newsletter, in CBF’s 2013 calendar, and in CBF’s award-winning magazine, Save the Bay.

This year, concepts and topics for photographers to consider include: Beauty, Recreation, History and Legacy, and Agriculture.

Judging will be conducted by a panel of CBF employees on the basis of subject matter, composition, focus, lighting, uniqueness, and impact. The public will also be able to vote online for their favorite photo in the Viewers’ Choice Gallery.

Last year the judges had their work cut out for them with more than 600 entries. Participation in the Viewers’ Choice Award was outstanding, too, with more than 6,000 votes cast.

Contest rules and details are available online at cbf.org/photocontest.

Stream Team Announces Clean-up

March 13 2012

As provided by Melissa Reckner:

The Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association and Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team’s third annual litter clean-up will be held Saturday, March 31, which is two weeks before the opening day of trout, from 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM.  The Watershed Association just adopted a two-mile stretch of State Route 160 between Elton and Windber through PennDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway program, so volunteers will remove trash from this section as well as Berwick Road, which is between Routes 56 and 160 in Richland Township, and Little Paint Creek.  Volunteers are asked to meet at the parking area along SR 160 where Little Paint Creek passes under 160.  Volunteers need to wear long pants, sturdy boots or shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather.  Safety vests, gloves, trash bags, and light refreshments will be provided.  Volunteers are asked to RSVP by March 28 by calling 814-444-2669.  This project is in cooperation with the Great American Cleanup of PA.

Clean-up Date Set

March 02 2012

What are you doing on March 17, 2012? Do you live in Huntingdon or surrounding counties, and want to make a difference. Here is your chance. Keep Huntingdon County Beautiful has announce a spring, roadside clean-up scheduled for that date. To learn more click here.

PA May Get More Oversight?

March 02 2012

This week the EPA announced that if Pennsylvania’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) doesn’t better address how the Keystone state will measure nutrient reductions, that they may provide enhanced programmatic oversight. That being said, the ramifications could mean that the EPA would have more say over how Pennsylvania manages its water resources, and how it issues permits. The PA DEP has until March 30, 2012 to allay the EPA’s fears, and avert federal oversight. To learn more click here.

Representative Vitali Bulks

February 29 2012

Representative Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) bulked at the governor’s plan to ‘shuffle fund’, and deplete the Keystone Fund.

Text of Feb. 28 press release.

HARRISBURG, Feb. 28 – Gov. Tom Corbett wants to use nearly $60 million dedicated for two popular environmental programs, the Growing Greener and the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation funds, to fill holes in the state’s 2012-13 budget.

Details about the transfers emerged during two House Appropriations Committee budget hearings held Tuesday.

During testimony by Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan, committee members discussed the governor’s proposal to take $38.58 million from the Keystone Fund and use it to help balance the budget. The fund provides money for state park and forest infrastructure improvements, as well as local recreation facilities, historic sites, zoos and public libraries.

DCNR, which oversees state parks and forests, has a $1 billion backlog of infrastructure projects, according to Allan.

“With this infrastructure backlog, we should not be diverting money from the Keystone Fund,” said state Rep. Greg Vitali, D-Delaware, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

During testimony by Agriculture Secretary George Greig, the committee discussed the governor’s proposal to take $20.48 million generated by a tax on cigarettes that is normally used to fund the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund for the General Fund budget. The governor proposed shifting $20.48 from the Growing Greener Bond Fund to the Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Fund.

“This is nothing but a shell game,” Vitali said. “It’s a way to use Growing Greener bond money for the General Fund. Using bond money for operating expenses is bad public policy.”

The Growing Greener Bond Fund was created by Act 45 of 2005 and approved by a voter referendum. As a result, the state sold $625 million in bonds and has used the money for projects that preserve natural areas and open spaces, clean rivers and streams, and address abandoned mines.

Budget hearings will continue until March 8. Sometime after, budget negotiations will begin between legislative leaders and the governor. A budget is due by June 30.

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