HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection today announced it has awarded $1.2 million in Coastal Zone Management Grants to organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving Pennsylvania's coastal zones along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary.
Coastal Zone Management grants are intended to support programs that measure the impact of various pollution sources, improve public access, preserve habitat and educate the public on the benefits of the state's coastal zones.
"Our coastal waters of the Delaware Estuary and Lake Erie are a unique gift, but with this gift comes responsibility," DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. "These grants will help us protect and conserve these great coastal resources for all of our citizens and visitors to enjoy, and they will benefit our economy."
The annual grants, largely funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), were awarded to 26 non-profit and government organizations in counties that border Pennsylvania's coastal zones or have a direct impact on water quality in those areas.
Coastal zones and adjacent shore land face increasing pressure from development, erosion, biodiversity losses and pollution. Pennsylvania has two coastal areas; 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 zone extends 3.6 miles inland on the eastern side and about 800 feet on the western side of the City of Erie, all to the middle of the lake, which is the Canadian boundary.
The application period for the next round of Coastal Zone Management Grants will be open until Oct. 17. Nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, local governments and authorities and state agencies are eligible.
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.
For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Coastal Zone.
Media contact: Jamie Legenos or Katy Gresh, 717-787-1323
Editor's Note: A complete list of the $1,164,321 awarded in coastal zone management grants follows:
Berks County Conservation District - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Bucks County Conservation District - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Heritage Conservancy - $12,942 to restore and develop interpretative programs about Bristol Marsh, a unique tidal wetland in Bucks County's coastal zone region.
Friends of Silver Lake - $10,000 to train students and community volunteers in proper water testing protocol, develop an educational program for research and provide outreach to local municipalities.
Morrisville Borough - $14,346 to restore, preserve and provide public access to more than eight acres of natural riverfront area.
Chester County Conservation District - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Delaware County Planning Department - $10,500 for an interactive environmental education program as part of the annual Delaware County Riverfront Ramble.
Delaware County Planning Department - $50,000 for coastal community revitalization and interpretive signage along the East Coast Greenway Corridor.
Delaware County Conservation District - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Erie County Conservation District - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Erie County Department of Planning - $67,000 for coordination and technical assistance with Lake Erie Coastal Zone projects.
Erie County Department of Planning - $9,000 to assist Lake Erie coastal communities in administering the Bluff Recession and Setback Act of 1980. Nine municipalities have been designated as having bluff recession hazard areas and are required to administer bluff setback ordinances.
Erie-Western PA Port Authority - $30,000 to rehabilitate an existing public launch ramp at Bay Harbor West.
Erie-Western PA Port Authority - $20,000 to rehabilitate a 1,500-square-foot lakefront public access walkway that will provide enhanced public access for viewing and fishing areas on the bay front.
Northwest Tri-County Unit - $10,000 to operate the Regional Summer School of Excellence program, "Investigating and Researching Environmental Health Problems."
Erie Times-News in Education Inc. - $38,760 for a recurring Newspaper in Education weekly page focusing on coastal zone environmental issues.
Regional Science Consortium - $49,974 for Phase II of the Evaluation of Lake Sturgeon Population and their Habitat in Lake Erie. This project will assess habitat through digitized side-scan sonar and continue awareness, education and genetic population determination. The consortium will also develop education and outreach tools, including posters, newspaper articles and a live sturgeon aquarium.
Springfield Township - $95,000 to construct a picnic pavilion at Raccoon Creek Park in accordance with the Springfield Township Parks Master Plan.
Lake Erie Watershed Association - $35,000 to develop an environmental education program that increases awareness, provides information and creates opportunities for educators, students and the general public in the Lake Erie Coastal Zone to address environmental issues through the reduction of non-point source pollution.
Montgomery County Conservation District - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary - $35,000 to conduct Pennsylvania Coast Day 2012 events, which educate the public about coastal recreation, historic sites and public access.
Schuylkill River Development Corporation - $60,000 to design a trail segment to extend the Schuylkill River Trail along Schuylkill Banks from South St. to Catharine St.
Schuylkill River Development Corporation - $45,000 to design the West Bank landing and approaches of the Schuylkill River Trail Crossing to extend from Grays Ferry Crescent to West Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Water Department - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Schuylkill County Conservation District - $25,000 to implement and track the Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program management measures.
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary - $49,941 to develop and launch a mussel survey program in Pennsylvania's coastal zone.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission - $51,000 to implement the Coastal Zone Management Program in the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone that includes Delaware, Philadelphia and Bucks counties.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful - $50,000 to coordinate the 2012 International Coastal Cleanup Day in the Delaware Estuary, which includes planning three to five community cleanups.
Penn State Sea Grant - $118,976 to develop an aquatic invasive rapid response monitoring and surveillance system, build Marine Spatial Planning and explore the Lake Erie coastal zone boundary and potential interests in expansion. In addition, Penn State Sea Grant received $41,000 for the PA Clean Marinas program that will create boat shrink-wrap recycling programs and pollution prevention workshops as well as expand the program to help implement non-point source pollution prevention activities for boaters and marinas.
Pennsylvania Environmental Council – $50,000 to design and install Tidal Delaware Water Trail signs along the entire length of the 56-mile trail between Morrisville, Bucks County, and Marcus Hook, Delaware County, and to recommend access site improvements and develop programming to attract current and novice boaters.
Academy of Natural Sciences - $10,882 to develop a nutrient budget for Tinicum marsh and evaluate the ecosystem service of nutrient removal.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection