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Alliance Receives Over Half A Million Dollars for Conservation Work in Lancaster County, PA

Press Release

Contact: Marissa Spratley
Email: mspratley@allianceforthebay.org
Office: 443-949-0575 Cell: 410-718-2728

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Alliance Receives Over Half A Million Dollars for Conservation Work in Lancaster County, PA
Funding will support stream restoration efforts and agricultural best management practice implementation

Lancaster, PA (September 17, 2020) The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) recently received two National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) grants to improve the lands and waters of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Funding received includes a grant for $50,000 for a Little Beaver Creek Stream and Riparian Buffer Restoration project in Strasburg Township, and another grant for $500,000 for a project restoring the Octoraro Reservoir that targets Plain Sect farmers for conservation outreach. Both projects are funded as part of the NFWF’s Small Watershed Grant program.

Little Beaver Creek Stream and Riparian Buffer Restoration:
Since 2002, Little Beaver Creek has been listed as impaired, according to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Impaired Waters List, which means the creek is unhealthy due to excess nutrients and sediment. To improve the creek’s health, the partners involved in this project will conduct a streambank restoration project, as well as plant a number of trees and shrubs along the streambank, otherwise known as a riparian forest buffer. The riparian forest buffer will include elderberries, ornamental willows, dogwoods, pawpaw, service berries, persimmon, walnuts, pecans, as well as medicinal plants, and native trees. The landowners of this streamfront property hope to use this project to encourage their neighbors to join them in stream restoration efforts on their own farms along the Little Beaver Creek.

Partnering with TeamAg Inc., the Alliance will conduct an initial feasibility analysis and establish planning efforts to mitigate the highly eroded stream banks of a 1,275 foot segment of Little Beaver Creek, which runs through farm property owned in Strasburg Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This effort will outline the implementation scope, permitting requirements, and estimated installation costs which will address streambank erosion on-site.

“TeamAg is excited about working together with the Alliance and Casey Spacht and Elisabeth Weaver, landowners of a property with a 1,275 foot segment of the Little Beaver Creek, for preliminary design and initial permitting to stabilize streambanks and restore riparian buffers,” said Chris Sigmund, President of TeamAg, Inc. “Casey Spacht is the executive director for Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative of over 100 family farmers in Lancaster County creating high quality foods. We hope that this new stream stabilization and buffer project can be a springboard for many other new initiatives installing riparian forest buffers on streams through Lancaster County farms. These projects clean our streams which impact the Chesapeake Bay. We all need to do our part.”

Restoring the Octoraro Reservoir: Continued Plain Sect Conservation Action: Originally created by the Alliance in 2017, the Octoraro Source Water Collaborative has been building momentum and installing agricultural best management practices for nearly three years. The Collaborative includes representatives from Chester Water Authority, Octoraro Watershed Association, Chester County Water Resources Authority, and other local agencies and organizations. So far the Alliance and its partners have supported over 60 farmers to implement almost $2 million in agricultural best management practices.

With this new grant funding, the Alliance alongside partners of the Collaborative, will achieve nutrient reductions in subwatersheds contributing to drinking water supplies in the Octoraro Creek Watershed by outreach and installing agricultural best management practices on Plain Sect farms. The project will prioritize farms and best management practices based on their nitrogen reduction potential, which impacts the water supply of over 250,000 individuals in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Through this effective cost-share structure, sharing outreach materials with farmers and the local community, and convening fellow partners, the Alliance hopes to inspire action throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and beyond.

“The Alliance is incredibly grateful for NFWF’s continued support of the Octoraro Creek watershed,” said Jenna Mitchell, Pennsylvania State Director at the Alliance. “Farmers in the Octoraro community are interested in and passionate about restoring local water quality but cannot afford the costs alone. These funds will continue to increase the impact that the Octoraro Source Water Collaborative has created.”

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About the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay:
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (Alliance) is a regional nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring together communities, companies, and conservationists to improve our lands and waters. The Alliance implements local programs that connect people to their waterways and becomes directly involved in restoration efforts. The Alliance was founded in 1971 and has offices in Annapolis, MD, Lancaster, PA, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, VA. For more information about the Alliance, visit allianceforthebay.org.

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Marissa Spratley Communications Manager, Maryland Office

Marissa is the Communications Manager at the Alliance’s Headquarters. Her job includes managing communications strategies across the organization and our regional offices.

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