CHP Coldwater Conservation Grants announced for 2021

Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) funding will support the development of planning and implementation projects aimed at protecting and enhancing coldwater streams across Pennsylvania.

Bellefonte, PA March 29, 2021 – The Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited (PATU) is pleased to announce that twelve grants totaling $70,000 have been awarded to conservation organizations across Pennsylvania through the Coldwater Heritage Partnership’s Coldwater Conservation Grant Program. These funds will be used to perform stream assessments and develop conservation plans in three watersheds and complete on-the-ground projects, such as construction of instream fish habitat structures, tree plantings, and stabilization of eroding stream banks in nine additional watersheds.  

These grants are made possible with financial assistance from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR) through a Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) grant administered by the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, AND through funding from the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. The Coldwater Heritage Partnership is a collaboration between PATU, PA DCNR, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.

“The past year has shown us now, more than ever, that Pennsylvanians rely on our coldwater streams and the ecosystems they support as places to get outdoors and enjoy nature,” said Rachel Kester, Program Director for the Coldwater Heritage Partnership. “We are pleased to support these twelve projects that will protect, reconnect, and restore coldwater streams across the Commonwealth and ensure that they remain places where the public can go to fish, hike, paddle, and otherwise enjoy nature, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic.”

The following organizations will receive funding support from the Coldwater Heritage Partnership this year:

Elk County Conservation District – The ECCD plans to add approximately 1000 linear feet of large woody material to 0.69 miles of Water Tank Run in State Game Lands 25 in Elk County to improve aquatic habitat, reduce erosion and sedimentation, reduce flooding, and create various other benefits associated with the addition of large wood to streams.

Heritage Conservancy – This project will extend the improvements of the stream buffer on Heritage Conservancy’s Fuller Pursell Preserve sections of Cooks Creek in Springfield Township, Bucks County, cited as a priority for restoration in the Cooks Creek Coldwater Conservation Plan. This section of Cooks Creek provides for public access.

James Zwald Chapter of Trout Unlimited – To improve wild trout habitat and ensure public safety and environmental education, the Gallagher Run habitat improvement project will replace failing gabion baskets with rock cross vanes and bank stabilization in the St. Leo Magnus churchyard in Ridgway, Elk County.

Kettle Creek Watershed Association – This project will address severe bank erosion and prevent excess sediment from entering the Kettle Creek watershed at the Lucky Seven Camp public access walk-in fishing area along Kettle Creek in Clinton County.

Perkiomen Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited – Severely eroded stream banks will be reconstructed, livestock crossing areas repaired, and diminished instream habitat diversity will be restored to optimal conditions to expand suitable fishery habitat and spawning conditions for wild trout residing within the West Branch of Perkiomen Creek in Berks County.

Susquehanna County Conservation District – A study related to culverts, habitat, and temperature will be conducted throughout the headwaters of Starrucca Creek in Susquehanna County to provide data for the development of a coldwater conservation plan.

Tiadaghton Chapter of Trout Unlimited – Fish habitat will be created through the chop and drop method (large wood addition) on Blue Run in Tioga County.

Trout Unlimited PA Coldwater Habitat Program – This project will improve habitat for the existing Class A population of brook trout and reduce an estimated 5,400 lbs/year of sediment by addressing 7,920 feet of streambank erosion in Beaverdam Run, Clinton County.

Tubmill Trout Club Unlimited – Stream habitat restoration will correct erosion and sedimentation issues, improve the aquatic ecosystem, and improve water quality in Tubmill Creek in Westmoreland County.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – A coldwater conservation plan will be developed for the Bens Creek Watershed in Cambria and Somerset Counties to guide future conservation efforts to improve water quality and aquatic habitat.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – This aquatic habitat improvement project will continue upon work completed in 2020 at a site on Clear Creek within Clear Creek State Park, Jefferson County. Unexpected site conditions were encountered during the initial work which required design revisions to properly restore the site for aquatic life and the safety of park visitors.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – A coldwater conservation plan will be developed for the Cush Creek watershed in Indiana and Clearfield Counties, which supports a Class A population of wild brown trout and over 50 miles of natural reproduction waters.

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