Growing Greener II investments allowed the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) to complete Phase II of its Sandy Run Wetland Restoration and Enlargement Project in Montgomery County. The expansion and restoration of wetlands in this section of the Sandy Run, a tributary of the Wissahickon Creek, ensured significant stormwater storage for an area with a history of flooding.
The Wissahickon watershed is located in southeastern Pennsylvania and drains approximately 64 square miles. Sandy Run has long been the cause of water quality problems for the watershed. Wissahickon Creek is included on Pennsylvania’s inventory of impaired waters, a list of waterways that do not meet water quality standards for designated uses like recreation, fish habitat, and drinking water supply. Phase II of the wetland restoration project enhanced the many benefits of the watershed including increased groundwater recharge, reduced sediment pollution, filtered runoff, and increased habitat for local fauna. “The Sandy Run is the largest tributary to the Wissahickon, with more than its share of problems,” said WVWA’s Director of Stewardship Bob Adams. “This was an important first step in addressing those problems.”
In 2004, WVWA received an EPA grant for completion of Phase I of this project. The first half of the wetland complex was built using these funds. As another part of this original initiative, a tree and shrub buffer was established along Sandy Run, and measures were taken to mitigate the future impact of invasive plant and animal species.
In addition to the Sandy Run project, WVWA has preserved and remediated numerous other sites along the Wissahickon watershed.