Coldwater Heritage Partnership supporting grassroots work to conserve state’s valuable coldwater streams, trout fisheries

Harrisburg — A cooperative
partnership is helping local organizations across the state protect
and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater stream habitats —waterways
that are critical to the health of the state’s wild trout
fisheries.
The Coldwater Heritage
Partnership—which includes the Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania
Fish and Boat Commission, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania
Watersheds—recently provided more than $42,000 in grants to seven
organizations to develop conservation plans that provide a better
understanding of coldwater streams, identify challenges and form
strategies that engage local communities in addressing these
issues.
“Local grassroots conservation
efforts are responsible for the return of healthy waterways in
Pennsylvania,” said DCNR acting Secretary John Quigley. “The work
is far from over, however, as many streams still face threats and
degradation. This partnership provides the much-needed funding to
continue the long-term stewardship of our world-class coldwater
streams.”
“This type of grassroots
conservation work is vital for the future of the state’s coldwater
streams and wild trout fisheries,” said Fish and Boat Commission
Executive Director John Arway. “We look forward to seeing these
conservation plans developed and implemented.”
“Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited is
excited to award grants to worthy organizations for the
conservation and protection of their local streams,” said Dave
Rothrock, president of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout
Unlimited.
All three partnering organizations
contribute funds toward the effort, making grants possible to the
following organizations in 2010:

  • Northampton County
    Conservation District, Northampton
    County
    : $6,000 to
    document baseline data for the Hokendauqua Creek watershed to serve
    as a foundation for water resource protection through prioritized
    recommendations; increase community awareness of the watershed; and
    collect data for potential upgrade to an exceptional value
    designation.
  • Lehigh County Conservation
    District, Lehigh County
    : $6,000 to carry out a watershed and stream
    assessment for the Coplay Creek Watershed.
  • Juniata Clean Water
    Partnership, Juniata County
    : $6,400 to conduct a stream assessment and
    prepare a conservation plan for Willow Run and Dougherty
    Run.
  • Dauphin County Conservation
    District, Dauphin County
    : $6,273 to assess Clark Creek and raise local
    awareness in protecting its high-quality cold water fishery
    classification; and create a coldwater conservation
    plan.
  • Lycoming County Conservation
    District on behalf of the Larry’s Creek Watershed Association,
    Lycoming County
    :
    $5,000 to complete a stream assessment and compile a cold water
    heritage plan for the Larry’s Creek watershed.
  • Somerset County Conservation
    District on behalf of Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association,
    Somerset County
    :
    $6,000 to work collaboratively and gather data to protect Little
    Paint Creek;
  • Point Park University (of
    Allegheny County) for work in Columbia and Sullivan
    counties
    : $6,000 to
    investigate the restriction of native brook trout in the headwaters
    of Fishing Creek and to develop a plan to improve the habitat and
    water quality for coldwater fishes.

Funded organizations will be
responsible for creating coldwater conservation plans
that:

  • Gather existing data about the
    coldwater ecosystem;
  • Identify potential impacts, threats,
    problems and opportunities to coldwater streams;
  • Formulate plans of action for
    proposed conservation and protection strategies; and
  • Build community awareness and support
    for conserving coldwater streams.

Besides offering grants, the
Coldwater Heritage Partnership works to provide technical and
educational assistance to organizations interested in protecting
coldwater ecosystems.
For information, contact Deborah
Nardone at the Coldwater Heritage Partnership at (814) 359-5233, or
visit www.coldwaterheritage.org.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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