Franklin County Conservation District gets grant for Antietam Creek protection

HARRISBURG – Franklin County Conservation District is among 23 projects that will receive funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The Conservation District will receive $76,307 to install 20 devices along the West Branch Antietam Creek in Washington Township to protect the streambanks from further erosion and to provide fish habitat.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has awarded $4.9 million in Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Grants to 23 projects that will help communities and the environment around the state by restoring impaired watersheds.

“The Section 319 program tackles the broad challenge of nonpoint source pollution watershed by watershed,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, “supporting partnerships and projects that adhere to data-grounded plans identifying which best practices will reduce the most pollution where, and monitoring outcomes to ensure success.”

About 95 percent of water quality impaired watersheds in Pennsylvania are polluted by nonpoint source pollution—water pollution that doesn’t come from a single specific discharge point, such as a pipe. Section 319 Grants focus on reducing nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution associated with agricultural activities, urban stormwater and streambank and shoreline erosion and iron, aluminum, and acidity pollution associated with energy resource extraction and acid mine drainage.

The grant program supports projects that carry out best management practices specified in Watershed Implementation Plans that have been developed for 36 watersheds around the state, with special consideration given to projects in Pennsylvania’s share of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It also supports development of Watershed Implementation Plans for other impaired watersheds.

About $3 million in 2021 grant funding is available for further project grant applications. DEP is accepting applications for 2021 funding until 5 p.m. Oct. 23. Incorporated watershed associations, counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, county conservation districts, councils of government, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations may apply.

Applicants can find the guidelines booklet, the link to the online grant application portal, and more information at the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Grants web page.

Grant funds are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and authorized through Section 319(h) of the federal Water Pollution Control Act.