Harrisburg – A cooperative partnership that includes the Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is helping local organizations protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater stream habitats — waterways that are critical to the health of the state’s wild trout fisheries.
The Coldwater Heritage Partnership — which also includes Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds — recently provided more than $42,000 in grants to seven organizations to develop conservation plans that provide a better understanding of coldwater streams, identify challenges and form strategies that engage local communities in addressing these issues.
“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. “We look forward to seeing these conservation plans developed and implemented.”
“Local grassroots conservation efforts are responsible for the return of healthy waterways in Pennsylvania,” said DCNR acting Secretary John Quigley. “The work is far from over, however, as many streams still face threats and degradation. This partnership provides the much-needed funding to continue the long-term stewardship of our world-class coldwater streams.”
“Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited is excited to award grants to worthy organizations for the conservation and protection of their local streams,” said Dave Rothrock, president of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.
All three partnering organizations contribute funds toward the grants being made to the following organizations during 2010:
* Northampton County Conservation District, Northampton County: $6,000 to document baseline data for the Hokendauqua Creek watershed to serve as a foundation for water resource protection through prioritized recommendations; increase community awareness of the watershed; and collect data for potential upgrade to an exceptional value designation.
* Lehigh County Conservation District, Lehigh County: $6,000 to carry out a watershed and stream assessment for the Coplay Creek Watershed.
* Juniata Clean Water Partnership, Juniata County: $6,400 to conduct a stream assessment and prepare a conservation plan for Willow Run and Dougherty Run.
* Dauphin County Conservation District, Dauphin County: $6,273 to assess Clark Creek and raise local awareness in protecting its high-quality cold water fishery classification; and create a coldwater conservation plan.
* Lycoming County Conservation District on behalf of the Larry’s Creek Watershed Association, Lycoming County: $5,000 to complete a stream assessment and compile a cold water heritage plan for the Larry’s Creek watershed.
* Somerset County Conservation District on behalf of Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association, Somerset County: $6,000 to work collaboratively and gather data to protect Little Paint Creek;
* Point Park University (of Allegheny County) for work in Columbia and Sullivan counties: $6,000 to investigate the restriction of native brook trout in the headwaters of Fishing Creek and to develop a plan to improve the habitat and water quality for coldwater fishes.
Funded organizations will be responsible for creating coldwater conservation plans that:
* Gather existing data about the coldwater ecosystem;
* Identify potential impacts, threats, problems and opportunities to coldwater streams;
* Formulate plans of action for proposed conservation and protection strategies; and
* Build community awareness and support for conserving coldwater streams.
Besides offering grants, the Coldwater Heritage Partnership works to provide technical and educational assistance to organizations interested in protecting coldwater ecosystems. For information, contact Deborah Nardone at the Coldwater Heritage Partnership at (814) 359-5233, or visit www.coldwaterheritage.org.
The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities. For more information about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania, please visit our website at www.fishandboat.com.
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