The Environmental Stewardship Fund provides funding for watershed specialists in every county in Pennsylvania. The two-year grants enable conservation districts to plan watershed restoration and stream improvement projects with the knowledge that funding for these key positions is secure.
“Local efforts are absolutely essential to the Growing Greener partnership,” said Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania. “Watershed specialists are an invaluable connection to restoring watersheds and promoting environmental protection at the local level— helping us achieve continued success in cleaning up the environment and revitalizing our local communities.”
Watershed specialists help local groups protect and improve their watersheds, provide expert advice to farmers and landowners for conservation practices, work with Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regional watershed coordinators, and help support local Environmental Stewardship Fund projects in their counties.
“This is a perfect example of the innovative ways the department can address pressing environmental issues while at the same time partnering with local communities to help revitalize the regional economy,” said former DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty. “Watershed specialists are a resource to both the public and private sectors and are under the direct supervision of the conservation district board of directors where the position is located.”
County conservation district watershed specialists have been a vital force in Pennsylvania’s watershed movement, providing much-needed environmental services in their counties and saving the state millions of dollars in project costs by locating matching funding and in-kind contributions for environmental projects. Whether it’s fighting abandoned mine drainage, restoring streamside vegetation, or reducing water pollution caused by agricultural or urban runoff, watershed specialists have been instrumental in many of Pennsylvania’s environmental successes.