FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2016
Contact: Josh Raulerson, Director of Communications
PEC RECEIVES STATE GRANTS FOR WATERSHEDS WORK
Included: Funding for Possible Expansion of Conservation Landscapes Program
Pittsburgh – The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has awarded the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) a total of $680,000 to support conservation and outdoor recreation programs statewide in 2017.
The grants will fund PEC’s ongoing coordination of the Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape ($125,000) and the Pocono Forests and Waters Conservation Landscape ($200,000). These regional Conservation Landscapes serve as organizing networks and funding mechanisms for local watershed groups, municipalities, and NGOs in southwestern and northeast Pennsylvania, respectively. Through strategic leadership and distribution of mini-grants, as well as administrative and other assistance, PEC empowers stakeholders to take on local projects to improve water quality and wildlife habitat, promote tourism and economic development, and foster values of stewardship and conservation among residents and visitors alike.
Additionally, DCNR awarded PEC $60,000 to study the feasibility of developing a new Conservation Landscape – tentatively named “Glacier’s Edge” – along the corridor between Erie and Pittsburgh. Covering the area from Point State Park to Presque Isle and Roderick State Parks along Lake Erie, Glacier’s Edge would be the eighth landscape established since the Conservation Landscape Program launched in 2004.
“Despite the fact this area includes several of the most visited state parks, there has yet to be a successful project to effectively link together the parks, gamelands, Erie National Wildlife Refuge, and other natural and recreation assets,” said PEC program manager Marla Meyer Papernick. “This landscape would provide much-needed linkages, visibility, and resources to a large swath of Pennsylvania.”
Also included in this round of DCNR grantmaking were $70,000 for PEC’s coordination of the Pennsylvania Water Trails Program, which provides mini-grants and technical assistance to water trail program managers; and $225,000 for the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), a supporting organization of PEC, to coordinate and fund the 2017-2018 River Sojourns and River of the Year programs.
About the Pennsylvania Environmental Council
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is a statewide organization that brings people, government, and business together to find real world solutions for environmental challenges. These solutions bring about sustainable communities, protect our water resources, and address energy and climate issues. PEC was founded in 1970 and serves the entire state through offices in Luzerne, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
For more information, visit www.pecpa.org.