HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Corbett Administration has awarded more than $800,000 in annual coastal zone management grants to organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving Pennsylvania's coastal zones along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary.
"These grants play a crucial role to ensure that Pennsylvania's coastal areas continue to thrive," Acting Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo said today. "We are thrilled to be able to support projects that positively impact the environment and enhance Pennsylvania's natural beauty."
The annual grants, largely funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), were awarded to 19 non-profit and government organizations in counties that border Pennsylvania's coastal zones or have a direct impact on water quality in those areas. NOAA is a federal agency under the Department of Commerce with programs in each state that work to inform residents of the changing impacts of weather and water resources. In Pennsylvania, those programs include the National Ocean Service and National Weather Service.
Coastal zone management grants support programs that measure the impact of various pollution sources, improve public access, preserve habitats and educate the public about the benefits of the state's coastal zones.
Coastal zones and adjacent shore land face increasing pressure from development, erosion, biodiversity losses and pollution. Pennsylvania's two coastal areas are a 112-mile stretch along the Delaware Estuary and 76 miles along Lake Erie.
The Delaware Estuary coastal zone is in Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties and contains islands, marshes and the shore lands of tributaries that are affected by ocean tides. The Delaware Estuary is considered one of the largest freshwater ports in the world. The Lake Erie coastal zone is in Erie County and includes several major tributaries' shorelines.
The Coastal Resources Management Program is now accepting applications for 2014. Non-profit organizations, schools and universities, local government organizations, authorities and state agencies are all encouraged to apply until the current grant round closes at 4 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2013.
For more information, and how to apply for the 2014 grant, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Coastal Zone.
Media contact: Amanda Witman, 717-787-1323
Editor's note: A complete list of the grants follows:
Bucks County Conservation District - $22,500 to implement and track coastal non-point pollution management measures;
Heritage Conservancy - $15,067 to enhance and protect ecological communities and endangered flora in Bristol Marsh; and
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful - $25,000 to plan, organize, oversee and report on the 2014 International Coastal Cleanup in Pennsylvania's Delaware Estuary.
Pennsylvania State University, PA Sea Grant - $80,000 to develop an aquatic invasive species rapid response monitoring and surveillance system; build Marine Spatial Planning; and explore the Lake Erie coastal zone boundary and potential interests in expansion.
County of Delaware - $6,500 for an interactive environmental education program as part of the annual Delaware County Riverfront Resource Environmental Event; and
Delaware County Conservation District - $22,500 to implement and track coastal non-point pollution program management measures.
City of Erie - $45,000 to complete Phase II of a comprehensive plan for the City of Erie;
County of Erie - $71,000 for coordination and technical assistance with Lake Erie coastal zone projects;
County of Erie - $9,000 to administratively assist Lake Erie coastal communities required to administer bluff setback ordinances;
Erie County Conservation District - $27,000 to develop a master site plan to provide guidance for the direction and future growth of Headwaters Park and its Best Management Practices (BMPs);
Erie County Conservation District - $22,500 to implement and track coastal non-point pollution program management measures;
Erie Times-News in Education - $38,760 for a recurring Newspaper in Education weekly page focusing on coastal zone environmental issues;
Lawrence Park Township - $21,500 to construct a 1,600-foot, ADA accessible trail from Lake Cliff Park to Lakeside Boat Launch/Beach;
McKean Township - $15,000 to update the McKean Area Comprehensive Plan with McKean Borough; and
Regional Science Consortium - $49,525 to quantify yellow perch and walleye mortalities through improved monitoring and recommended management strategies to reduce the mortality rate.
Delaware River Waterfront Corporation - $50,000 to create plans to transform Philadelphia's formerly industrial riverfront between Piers 53 and 70 south into a wetlands education site;
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission - $50,000 to implement the Coastal Management Program in the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone;
Fairmount Park Commission - $50,000 to install a composting restroom at Lardner's Point Park to serve current and future users and a future trail that will be part of the East Coast Greenway;
John Bartram Association - $40,000 to create a plan to enhance and restore historic features that improve Bartram's Garden as a regional cultural destination and public green resource on the banks of the Schuylkill River;
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. - $49,425 to expand freshwater mussel restoration efforts through strengthening technical surveys and restoration planning for fresh water mussels in the Delaware River;
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. - $30,000 to conduct Pennsylvania Coast Day 2014 events, which educate the public about coastal recreation, historic sites and public access;
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation - $60,000 to build a riverfront trail and greenway along the east bank of the Schuylkill River between South and Christian Streets in Philadelphia, extending the Schuylkill River Trail an additional 1,200 feet.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection