The Environmental Stewardship Fund has been hugely successful, investing directly in vital efforts to conserve special natural places and revitalize communities. However, there are significant issues that must be addressed in order to ensure that Pennsylvania’s treasures will be enjoyed by future generations:
- Between 1992 and 2015, there was a 133% increase in the amount of open space and farmland consumed by residential and commercial development, and 1,500 farms remain on county waiting lists to be preserved.
- The majority of the state’s 6,000 community parks and 11,000 miles of trails need significant maintenance and repairs.
- Many Pennsylvania municipalities lie in floodplains, and poor land-development patterns in these areas have left many communities at risk of flooding that damages property and threatens public safety.
- Over 19,000 miles of streams in Pennsylvania are unsafe for fishing or swimming due to pollution.
- Abandoned mine lands scar 189,000 acres in 43 counties, causing 5,500 miles of dead streams and rivers.