August 11, 2008

Six Watershed Projects Receive Environmental Grants From Pennsylvania American Water

HERSHEY, Pa., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania American Water announced today that six watershed initiatives across the state will receive funding through the company's 2008 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling approximately $26,000, which the company has earmarked for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

A panel of judges selected the winners from nearly 30 grant applications, which were evaluated on such criteria as environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability.

The 2008 grantees are the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners, Brandywine Valley Association (Chester County), River Alert and Information Network (Washington and Allegheny counties), Abrahams Creek Watershed Association (Luzerne County), Moshannon Creek Watershed Coalition (Centre and Clearfield counties) and South Park Township (Allegheny County).

"Again this year, we've been impressed with the quality of the environmental initiatives that local organizations have developed and proposed," said Kathy Pape, president, Pennsylvania American Water. "The Environmental Grant Program enables us to help support communities that are taking the lead with innovative watershed projects, which will enhance the sustainability of our precious water resources."

The following summaries describe the projects that earned environmental grants:

River Alert and Information Network (RAIN) - The organization is a collaboration of 33 southwestern Pennsylvania water systems that, along with its partners, has developed an education program aimed at young people about the importance of watershed protection. The initiative includes the production of video, displays and other communications media that promote source water protection to encourage school-age children to take greater interest in where their families get drinking water. In addition, boat excursions for teachers and students are planned along the Monongahela River to learn about source water protection. The project is part of RAIN's long-range plan to establish and early warning and detection network along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers.

Abrahams Creek Watershed Association (ACWA) - In collaboration with West Wyoming and Wyoming boroughs, the association is preparing to introduce best management practices for residents within the watershed. To overcome poor watershed management practices that have existed for years, the project is aimed at changing attitudes and actions through educational initiatives. This outreach includes workshops and demonstrations for residents and local officials on a range of topics, including storm water management, streamside buffer restoration and invasive plant removal. In addition the grant will enable ACWA to undertake streamside buffer restoration by removing invasive plants and allow native vegetation to return.

Brandywine Valley Association (BVA) - The organization has created a unique program called "Red Streams Blue" to improve the quality of impaired streams in the Brandywine Valley and to protect other waterways from pollution. The grant will help BVA develop a restoration plan for Little Buck Run to correct impairments to the watershed, plus ongoing water quality monitoring will be conducted to document changing patterns. All data collected will be used to promote awareness among residents, township officials, developers and policy makers about the actions and tools needed to improve the watershed. In addition, the group will develop a model to be used in other watersheds where impaired streams exist.

Lawrence County Board of Commissioners - As part of its Greenways Plan, the county is creating a water trail along the Beaver River in the Beaver Watershed. The grant will make it possible for the county to clean up two watershed sites - Hickory Run and Bevington Boat Launch, which are instrumental to the establishment of the water trail. Grant funds will be used to provide tools and supplies needed for the clean-up, as well as for the disposal of debris and tires collected.

Moshannon Creek Watershed Coalition (MCWC) - The organization plans to develop a conceptual design report for a treatment system to address acid mine drainage in the headwaters of the Moshannon Creek. The grant will be used to prepare an abatement study to quantify and document the environmental pollution from the MC FORE acid mine discharge, which has been caused by extensive coal and clay mining from years past. This study will help the organization obtain state and federal funding to permit and construct the treatment solution for the acid mine discharge. Furthermore, the project represents a new initiative to begin water quality restoration and protection activities for Moshannon Creek.

South Park Township - The municipality plans to expand its stream clean-up program that began four years ago. The grant will provide the tools needed for this year's clean-up and provide for the disposal of the trash and tires collected along Piney Fork Creek and Peters Creek. The stream clean-up brings a number of organizations together to participate, including Girls Scouts, Tri-Community Anglers, Montour Trail Group and South Park High School's Environmental Club. In addition to improving the watershed, the initiative helps provide natural recreational facilities for local residents.

Pennsylvania American Water is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water, which initiated the Environmental Grant Program in 2005 in Pennsylvania to support projects that protect or restore drinking water sources and surrounding watersheds. Since then, American Water has expanded the annual program to 13 states across the nation.

Pennsylvania American Water is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 2.1 million people. In addition to its subsidiaries' regulated operations, American Water provides operation and maintenance services to an additional 112,000 people in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania American Water is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water . Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs nearly 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15.6 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting

Pennsylvania American Water

CONTACT: Terry Maenza of Pennsylvania American Water, +1-610-670-7789,ext. 123, Mobile: +1-610-849-6484, [email protected]

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