SRG distributes $337,500 to water quality improvement projects
The devastating impacts of Hurricane Ida showed the need for restoration projects along local waterways. Towns, homes and businesses near rivers, creeks and streams experienced extreme flooding.
The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area continues to address this need with the distribution of $337,500 in grants this year to seven projects helping to improve the region’s water conditions and natural environment. The projects will improve water conditions through activities such as streambank fencing, mine drainage, and native plant installations to improve areas prone to flooding. To learn more about the restoration fund, visit schuylkillriver.org/conservation/the-restoration-fund.
Schuylkill River Greenways, Schuylkill Action Network, Exelon Generation, Delaware River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Water Department, Aqua Pennsylvania, the Environmental Protection Agency and the PA Department of Environmental Protection held a showcase on Sept. 17, 2021, in Philadelphia to announce the recipients of the 2021 Schuylkill River Restoration Fund. Guests of the showcase took a tour of agricultural projects at Northwestern Stables including runoff and paddock improvements.
Since it was established in 2006, the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund has supported 121 environmental projects with an investment of $4.6 million.
“The mission of the fund is to restore natural spaces in order to improve the ecosystem,” said Schuylkill River Greenways Education Director Sarah Crothers. “One of the main causes of major flooding, other than increased amounts of precipitation, is the lack of natural absorbent surfaces.”
Crothers explained man-made surfaces such as concrete don’t soak up water. Natural buffers and landscaping like native trees, shrubs and grasses act as a sponge when it rains.
“The Schuylkill River Restoration fund is made possible by all of our generous partners who recognize the importance of the awarded projects. Once implemented, projects have an immediate positive impact on the watershed,” said Schuylkill River Greenways NHA Deputy Director Tim Fenchel.
Exelon has provided more than $3.1 million to the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund since it was founded; the Philadelphia Water Department has contributed $1.2 million over the past twelve years; Aqua PA has donated more than $225,000; and MOM’s Organic Market has donated approximately $10,000.