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More Than $1 Million Awarded to Protect, Enhance PA’s Coastal Zones

The Department of Environmental Protection this week awarded more than $1 million in grant funding for 37 projects designed to improve and maintain Pennsylvania’s coastal zones.

Grants are awarded to nonprofit groups, educational institutions, local governments and state agencies to finance projects, such as the rehabilitation of streambanks and the restoration of riparian buffers to reduce pollution flowing into waterways, the reforestation of urban areas, better management of stormwater runoff, and the development of new technologies to locate and address unseen sources of pollution.

“Our shorelines and coastal zones provide our citizens and visitors with recreational, tourism and educational opportunities all year long,” said Gov. Rendell. “But these areas are also driving Pennsylvania’s economy through research, environmental restoration and by providing the waterway access many businesses depend on to move their products. The investment we’re announcing today will help preserve this vital resource for the benefit of our people and our economy.”

A complete list of project awards is available online.

The coastal zone is an area where the land meets the sea and includes coastal waters and adjacent shorelands. Pennsylvania has two coastal areas: 57 miles of coastline along the Delaware Estuary and 63 miles of coastline along Lake Erie.

The Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone lies within Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties and contains islands, marshes and the shorelands of tributaries that are affected by ocean tides. The combined facilities of the Delaware Estuary comprise the largest freshwater port in the world.

The Lake Erie Coastal Zone is located within Erie County and includes the shorelines of major tributaries. The zone extends to the middle of the lake to the boundary with Canada and inland 900 feet within the city of Erie. The lake, one of the state ports for international shipping, also contains Presque Isle State Park.

The majority of coastal zone management grants are funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from money made available by the federal government. Grant recipients include local governments, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and state agencies.

Since 2003 the Pennsylvania Coastal Resource Management Program has provided more than $6.2 million in funding for coastal zone projects.

The application period for next year’s grant round will be open until October 22.

For more information, visit DEP’s Coastal Zone Management Program webpage.


9/14/2007

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