Pennsylvania is Growing Greener through Grants

Organizations in nearly every Pennsylvania county will receive a total of $34.2 million in "Growing Greener" grants for projects to improve the environment. The grants will be used by 239 organizations for watershed restoration, protection and education; technical assistance; and watershed-specialist positions.

"Earlier this year, Gov. Mark Schweiker made a commitment to meet the same level of Growing Greener funding as originally intended, in spite of the fiscal crisis faced by the Commonwealth," said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary David E. Hess.

In addition to the Growing Greener grants, Hess announced grants awarded through Pennsylvania's Non-Point Source Management Program and Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program.

Pennsylvania's Non-Point Source Management Program awarded $3.87 million to control, prevent and remediate non-point sources of polluted runoff. The Coastal Non-Point Pollution Program awarded $462,765 to protect and enhance fragile coastal resources, while reducing conflict between competing land and water uses.

Hess said the environmental improvements resulting from the Growing Greener grants will include 257 acres of abandoned mines reclaimed, 810 acres of wetlands created or restored, 94 oil and gas wells plugged, 82 miles of streams impacted by acid mine drainage cleaned, 299 miles of riparian buffer planted, 19.5 miles of stream banks improved and 15 new watershed groups formed.

"Growing Greener represents the next generation of environmental- protection programs - supporting community - and watershed-based projects that build partnerships to accomplish their goals," added Hess.

For more information on the Growing Greener program, visit the Pennsylvania homepage at www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: "Growing Greener."

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