NORRISTOWN, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) this week announced that 12 projects, totaling $536,382, aimed at protecting and restoring the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone would be funded through grants. This year’s projects emphasize environmental education, community outreach, and continued research on PFAS; all of which will benefit this critical habitat and ecosystem.
“The Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone is a phenomenal resource to curb environmental threats such as pollution and climate change,” said Acting DEP Secretary Ramez Ziadeh. “Each year, Coastal Zone projects help our efforts to ensure the sustainability of these habitats.”
Coastal zones are areas where land meets the coast and include both coastal waters and adjacent shorelands. These areas are challenged with increasing pressure from development, erosion, biodiversity loss and pollution. Coastal zone grants are awarded to projects related to fisheries, wetlands, stormwater management improvements, recreation, public education, coastal hazards such as bluff recession, and other areas. Grants may also be awarded to other projects in the watershed that have an impact on coastal waters.
The 112-mile Delaware Estuary coastal zone is located in Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties and encompasses islands, marshes, and other areas in the Delaware Estuary watershed. It is the largest freshwater port in the world.
“It’s exciting to see this grant money being put to good use in the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone,” said DEP Southeast Regional Director Pat Patterson. “Local organizations that develop strategies and carry out projects to restore and protect our natural resources are of the utmost importance and the DEP is committed to supporting these partners with grant funding and technical assistance.”
Approved projects include:
- Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission – $50,000 to implement the Coastal Management Program in the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone that includes Delaware, Philadelphia and Bucks counties.
- Delaware River City Corporation, (DBA) Riverfront North Partnership – $75,000 to develop a Frankford Boat Launch Master Site Development Plan to guide and prioritize future development of the park.
- Schuylkill River Development Corporation – $75,000 to work with a consultant to complete advanced planning and preliminary design of the Schuylkill Banks Trail: Bartram’s to Passyunk Phase II.
- Fairmount Park Conservancy – $30,000 to develop the FDR Park Lake Restoration and Environmental Education Pilot curriculum.
- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. – $56,742 to implement the Bartram’s Garden Living Shoreline Phase III – Freshwater Mussels and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation project.
- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. – $32,000 to conduct Pennsylvania Coast Day 2023 events to educate the public about coastal recreation, historic sites, and public access.
- PA CleanWays, (DBA) Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful – $25,000 to conduct community cleanups and marine debris removal in the Delaware Estuary.
- The Fund for the Water Works, (DBA) Fairmount Water Works – $50,000 to develop the final engineering and design documentation for the Floating Water Workshop.
- Discovery Pathways – $20,000 to support the expansion of their Watershed Education program.
- Pennsylvania Environmental Council – $26,604 to create materials to identify municipal codes and policies that present the biggest barriers to Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) implementation.
- Delaware River Basin Commission – $50,000 to conduct Phase 2 of a scientifically based research study to focus on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the Delaware Estuary.
- Heritage Conservancy – $43,036 to conduct an in-depth biodiversity survey of Croydon Woods using taxa appropriate survey methods.
Funded primarily by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the grants are administered by DEP’s Coastal Resources Management Program. Since federal approval of the DEP Coastal Resources Management Program in 1980, the program has provided more than $50 million in funding for coastal zone projects.
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