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2017-11-17 / Business Briefs

Elk Creek restoration project highlights future of Chesapeake Conservation

MILLHEIM, PA. – Chesapeake Conservancy recently joined partners to install vegetation and structures to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff and improve water quality on a property on Elk Creek, a tributary of Penns Creek, in Centre County, PA.

On-the-ground partners for the project included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Habitat Forever, the Foundation for California University of Pennsylvania, Penns Valley Conservation Association, Seven Willows LLC, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Funding for the project was provided by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pennsylvania DEP Growing Greener and Glen’s Garden Market, and Winghaven Nursery donated nursery stock.

The partners planted a 35-foot wide riparian buffer along a 1000-foot agriculturally impaired stretch of the stream. This is one of six sites that are part of a new mapping validation project to identify where restoration can have the greatest benefits to water quality and wildlife habitat.

An analysis done by the Chesapeake Conservancy determined that this one acre riparian restoration area has the potential to intercept and mitigate runoff from nearly 14 acres of upstream farmland, lawns, impervious surfaces, such as roadways and sidewalks. Mapping the relationship between upslope land and the creek receiving runoff can help identify priority areas where restoration can keep pollutants from entering local waterways and the Susquehanna River.

Chesapeake Conservancy has financially supported this project through a partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Glen’s Garden Market. To balance the carbon footprint of shipping products from outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed to their grocery stores, Glen’s Garden Market provided funding for the riparian planting.

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