The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds

FPW Announces GenOn Round II

On April 24, 2012 the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds’ (FPW) Board of Advisors reviewed spring grant proposals, and made payout from their GenOn Settlement Fund. Five projects were funded via GenOn Settlement funds; project grants totaled $224,500 and leveraged $1.02M.

John Dawes, Executive Director said, “We are privileged to have this opportunity to invest this money back into the communities for which the settlement was won. Though we had no part in the litigation, we certainly take our job of overseeing the funds very seriously. We hope that this investment will further inspire those working in the trenches to think even bigger about what watershed recovery means to Johnstown and the surrounding area.”

Projects funded included:

The American Chestnut Foundation—Flight 93 Restoration $40,000

Project funds will be used to assist with restoring native, American chestnut trees to the reclaimed mine site at the Shankesville, PA Flight 93 National Park. More than 230 chestnuts will be planted on the 60 acre plot. The blight-resistant trees will serve to introduce the chestnut back into its home range. This project leverages National Park Service resources, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s (OSMRE) Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (ARRI).

Blackleggs Watershed Association, INC—Big Run #3 $55,000

In total the Big Run projects will address more than 50 percent of the acidity, 25 percent of the iron, and 50 percent of the aluminum flowing into Big Run. This project is part of the larger initiative that will address water quality improvements in a nearly nine square mile watershed. Additional project partners include: Growing Greener, OSMRE’s Clean Streams Initiative, Environmental Protection Agency 319 funds, and Norfolk Southern.

Conemaugh Valley Conservancy—Stream Team $9,500

Funding will assist the Stream Team in continued support of water quality monitoring for watershed organizations, ensure continued monitoring of 150 sample points, provide community outreach/engagement, and assist with student education about the environment. In 2011, the Stream Team reached 700 students through their outreach efforts.

Stream Restoration, INC (SRI)—Kiski-basin Assessment $60,000

Project funding was awarded to provide a more thorough evaluation of passive treatment systems that were deemed failing by a preliminary scan of water quality data provided in DataShed. The scan identified more than 20 systems that showed decreased water quality performance. The grant will allow SRI to thoroughly evaluate these systems, and provide recommendations for their repairs.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy—Dirt and Gravel Roads and Unassessed Waters $60,000

Grant funds were awarded to assist with Dirt and Gravel Road activities in Ligonier Township totaling one mile, and for assessing fish assemblages within several state parks. Fish assessments will result in 61 miles of additionally assessed state, water resources.  Lastly, the grant will provide funding for assessing additional township and state property that might be eligible for Dirt and Gravel Road funding from the state.

Branden S. Diehl, Project and Grant Consultant said, “Some groups have seized the opportunity presented by the GenOn funds. Several projects had been shelved because funding wasn’t available, so they dusted them off and now they are being constructed. ”

FPW’s next grant deadline is August 24, 2012 when fall Letters of Inquiry are due. To learn more about FPW’s grant process visit: www.pennsylvaniawatersheds.org. To learn more about the projects they fund visit: http://fpw.rhizalabs.com.

May 25 2012 11:33 am | News

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