FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2016
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Diane Huskinson, Communications Manager/Editor
610-268-2153, ext. 298
Conservation orgs may receive free technical assistance from the Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds through a Growing Greener grant
AVONDALE, Pa. — Pennsylvania watershed and conservation organizations may be eligible for free technical assistance to effectively assess, monitor, and restore their local water resources.
The Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds (C-SAW) is offering both organizational and scientific assistance, made possible by a Growing Greener grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
The grant was awarded to the Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development Council in partnership with the six other organizations that make up C-SAW: the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the Pennsylvania Lake Management Society, Stroud Water Research Center, and the United States Geological Survey.
The threats to clean fresh water are many: Poor agricultural practices, abandoned mine drainage, and urban stormwater runoff all contribute to water pollution and negatively impact the health of streams and rivers. But local efforts to reduce local pollution can make a big difference,” said Dave Arscott, assistant director and research scientist at Stroud Water Research Center.
Since 2001, C-SAW partners have worked together to empower people to protect their water resources. More than 280 local watershed organizations, municipalities, and conservation districts across the state have received assistance from the consortium.
Director of ALLARM Julie Vastine said, “Pennsylvania has over 85,000 miles of streams and shorelines. To help assess the quality of our state’s waters, community volunteers have been crucial boots on the ground. C-SAW has been a crucial program to ensure that volunteers have access to technical support to make their monitoring programs strong and scientifically robust. ALLARM is excited to continue working with a fantastic C-SAW team to help Pennsylvania volunteers be effective eyes, ears, and voices of our waterways.”
Delaware Riverkeeper Network Water Watch Director Faith Zerbe echoed the importance of volunteers: “Grassroots watershed and community groups have made big positive impacts for their local streams here in Pennsylvania. Locals on the ground have collected data, reviewed industry plans, and testified to hold operators responsible.”
C-SAW is one of 114 projects funded as part of the Wolf Administration’s recently announced $25.1 million investment in Growing Greener, a bipartisan grant program established in 1999 to protect and improve Pennsylvania’s water resources.
Under the 3-year grant, C-SAW will help people
- Learn how to assess watershed health.
- Identify solutions.
- Develop monitoring programs, protection plans, and restoration projects.
Stroud Water Research Center will tailor the training it offers through the grant to meet the needs of individual watersheds and may cover topics such as streamside forests, environmental sensors, and how to interpret and use data to monitor water quality.