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Lower Susquehanna Center for Land and Water Holds First Planning Session

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has joined forces with other interested conservation partners to establish a center in the Lower Susquehanna region that will help local groups and communities deal with land and water issues.

The coalition took a major step forward this month. On January 3, more than thirty individuals representing CBF and other state and local conservation groups, county, and local government, state agencies, and local colleges and high schools attended an initial strategic planning session to discuss the formation of the Lower Susquehanna Center for Land and Water.

“We are thrilled with the level of interest and diversity of groups represented at our first meeting,” said Matt Royer, CBF’s Pennsylvania Staff Attorney. “This initiative is about sharing resources and expertise, avoiding duplication of effort, and getting more things done on the ground with greater success. Ultimately, we hope it will play a major role in making sure this region remains a wonderful place to live.”

The Center will galvanize area conservation groups and local governments so that their missions of enhancing the quality of land, water, and communities in the region can be met. It will provide technical assistance, serve as an informational clearinghouse, and facilitate partnerships to more effectively and efficiently address land use and water quality challenges in the Lower Susquehanna region. Educational opportunities will be offered to students of Milton Hershey School and area school districts.

The Center’s initial focus will be on the Swatara, Conewago, Conoy, and Chiques Creek watersheds in Lebanon, Dauphin, and Lancaster Counties, but its geographic reach could be expanded in the future.

The Center is developing a strategic plan that will serve as the operational blueprint for the coalition. The planning sessions are being facilitated by Keystone Conservation Trust pursuant to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The County of Lebanon is administering the grant on behalf of the coalition.

Future planning meetings are scheduled through the spring, with a final plan expected by June 2008.

For more information, contact Matt Royer at 717-234.5550 or send email to: .


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