255,000 gallons of stormwater per year away from the stormwater system. Also, through the installation of these two rain gardens, over 100 native plants of 15 different species have been planted in the urban environment while encouraging species diversity and a natural connection with nature. So far, two municipalities and over 500 students have been educated on the impacts that stormwater runoff has on our environment and are prepared and encouraged to promote these green practices in their future work.
— ClearWater Conservancy
– State College (Centre County): ClearWater Conservancy developed a Riparian Conservation Program to restore functioning “streambank buffer zones” in the Spring Creek watershed that have been impacted by agriculture. ClearWater staff members meet with landowners to explain what streambank restoration involves and how it protects water quality. A mix of shrubs and trees are planted to create a “vegetated buffer zone” that protects the stream from pollution, siltation, and overheating. A ClearWater steward is assigned to each property and gives the restoration project individualized attention. To date the Riparian Conservation Program has protected 4,600 acres of high-value riparian habitat. More than 300 ClearWater staff, site stewards and volunteers have installed riparian buffers along more than 69,890 feet of stream. They’ve also installed 35,988 feet of streambank fencing and 16 stream crossings for livestock, removed three dams, installed 168 streambank stabilization and fish habitat enhancement structures, and treated countless acres of invasive species.
— Paddle Without Pollution
– Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): Paddle Without Pollution’s (PWP) watershed stewardship events are addressing the large amount of litter, illegally dumped debris, and hazardous materials in our area’s rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands. They are also increasing public awareness of the effects of that pollution and have involved the community in direct action, low impact events that enable volunteers to make a positive difference through hands-on stewardship. They use non-motorized boats exclusively and can operate with very little or no impact to the environment, using volunteers to get into ecologically sensitive, shallow and inaccessible areas that many boats or land-based cleanup crews cannot safely reach. In 2013, PWP held 11 watershed stewardship events where approximately 300 Paddle Without Pollution volunteers removed more than 16 tons of litter and illegally dumped debris from the Allegheny, Monongahela, Kiski, and Ohio Rivers as well as Chartiers, Slippery Rock, and Ten Mile Creeks.
— Three Rivers Rain Garden Alliance
– Pittsburgh (Allegheny County): As little as one-tenth of an inch of rain can cause raw sewage to overflow into Pittsburgh’s rivers and streams. An effective strategy for addressing the problem of stormwater runoff is the installation of rain gardens. So in 2007, a group of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government agencies formed the Three Rivers Rain Garden Alliance to raise awareness of the wet weather issue in our region and reduce runoff through the use of rain gardens. An innovative website was created that explains the region’s wet weather problems and provided details on how to install a rain garden. The website is connected to 32 digital rain gauges located throughout Allegheny County. Thus far, 96 rain gardens in seven Western Pennsylvania counties have been registered with the site and have retained more than 3,000,000 gallons of stormwater. For information on tickets, visit the PEC’s Western PA Awards Dinner webpage.
DEP: $21 Million Available For Growing Greener Plus Grants