In Pennsylvania, the most widely recognized environmental grant program is Growing Greener Plus. On May 14, 2018, the latest round of funding opened with more than $20 million available to municipalities and nonprofit organizations for projects to improve water quality in their community or statewide.
“Growing Greener Plus has provided almost $300 million for more than 2,100 projects statewide since its inception,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “With its long history of supporting local partnerships and on-the-ground efforts, DEP’s Growing Greener plays an essential role in restoring and protecting the health of streams and rivers in communities across Pennsylvania.”
Grants are available for projects addressing nonpoint source pollution from farms, urban stormwater runoff, and acid mine drainage (AMD) at abandoned coal mine sites. Projects may be small or large, addressing an individual site or creating an initiative for an entire watershed, for multiple counties, or statewide.
Last year, more than 100 grants awarded ranged from $2.9 million to Schuylkill County Conservation District for Swatara Creek floodplain restoration, to decrease flood levels and increase wildlife habitat, to $16,500 to Warrington Township in Bucks County for a stormwater retention basin.
County and municipal governments, county conservation districts, watershed organizations, and other organizations that work to protect and restore Pennsylvania’s environment are eligible to apply.
For the second year, emphasis will be placed on projects in the 43 Pennsylvania counties in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that implement best management practices (BMPs) to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment runoff in streams and rivers.
Projects that are in designated environmental justice communities or Act 47 financially distressed municipalities, projects that increase job opportunities and foster sustainable businesses, and projects that help regulated stormwater communities meet their minimum control measures will also be prioritized.
Funds are available for BMPs, such as streambank fencing, streambank forest buffers, animal heavy use area protection; wetland creation or enhancement; AMD treatment systems or land reclamation at abandoned coal mine sites; projects included in a Clean Water Act Section 319 Watershed Implementation Plan; and AMD projects located in Qualified Hydrologic Units.
The application period runs from 8:30 AM on May 14, 2018 to 4:00 PM on July 13, 2018.
Photo of Harrisburg, PA via Adobe Stock.