Lancaster, PA: The Region to Watch in Terms of Reducing Pollution from Runoff
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Over the last two years, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has invested $1.1 million in projects around Lancaster County that take a comprehensive approach to dealing with issues related to urban/suburban runoff. Three innovative projects in the area tackle different aspects of the stormwater runoff issue – on-the-ground infrastructure, planning and assessment and community engagement – and, when combined, represent a large-scale, holistic approach that can change the status quo on this problem.
The Issue: During storm events, rain either filters into the ground or runs off. In areas of development – roads, parking lots, rooftops, etc. – rain cannot be absorbed into the ground so it flows off in sheets, picking up nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, bacteria, metals and chemical contaminants as it goes. Velocity is also a factor since the faster runoff moves, the more damage it can cause by scraping away stream banks and filling the waterways with sediment. In the end, the polluted stormwater flows directly into local streams or storm drains and is carried into local waters and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay.
The Projects: Through its Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund (CBSF), NFWF worked with area partners in Lancaster County to identify and provide funding for the best practices and initiatives that could improve stormwater management practices in the region. Better practices reduce the amount of polluted runoff draining off the land into the local waters. Projects to improve stormwater management in Lancaster County include: implementing a green infrastructure plan, retrofitting stormwater systems, and initiating community education and buy-in. Detailed information about these projects is available upon request.
Recognizing that Lancaster County is largely comprised of agricultural lands, NFWF has also supported projects that have engaged 380 area farmers in putting “best management practices” in place on almost 40,000 acres of farmland. The collective impact of these activities is estimated to reduce annual water pollution by approximately 1.2 million pounds of nitrogen and 361,000 pounds of phosphorus.
Since 2000, the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund has provided $68.9 million in grants for over 700 projects across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The goal of the Fund is to accelerate local implementation of the most innovative, sustainable and cost-effective strategies for restoring and protecting water quality and vital habitats within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. To achieve this goal, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation partners with the Chesapeake Bay Program to engage in grant making, provide technical assistance to grantees, and facilitate networking and information sharing among grantees.
For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund programs and grant opportunities, visit www.nfwf.org/chesapeake.
CONTACT: Amanda Bassow PRESS CONTACT: Leah Nadeau Amanda.Bassow@NFWF.org Leah@MSBDinc.com (202)595-2476 (703)309-9511
SOURCE National Fish and Wildlife Foundation