DOVER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Dover Township in York County is getting millions of federal dollars to pay for a floodplain project focusing on improving the health of a nearby creek.

The nearly $6 million grant comes from FEMA, part of the agency’s “Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities” (BRIC) program. Township officials said this project will have environmental impacts all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.

Flooding has long been a problem in Dover Township, particularly for areas bordering the Little Conewago Creek.

“That particular property has been prone to flooding in the township for at least the last 10 years,” township manager Laurel Oswalt said of a road bordering the creek. “Sometimes it floods and people can’t get in and out.”

The township bought some of those properties and demolished them, but Oswalt said they want to focus on prevention.

“That was the reactive response,” she said.

The prevention piece centers on a project that is part of the township’s Chesapeake Bay Pollution Reduction Plan and focuses on the Little Conewago Creek.

“Taking a stream that has filled in with sediment over time and widening it back to original floodplain,” Oswalt said.

Oswalt said that project alone will keep 1 million pounds of sediment and 4,000 pounds of nitrogen out of the Chesapeake Bay every year.

The township now has the money for it, thanks to the $5.83 million grant from FEMA.

The project is also expected to have an environmental impact locally, restoring dozens of acres of forestry and wetlands. Oswalt said it will keep flooding down and create more spaces for recreation, as well as restoring wildlife habitats.

She added the township already has some idea of what to expect. They implemented a similar — though much smaller — project near the municipal building

“We’ve seen a lot of wildlife that has come back to that stream, which before we were lucky to see crayfish, but we have ducks and geese and egrets, blue heron,” she described.

There are still several steps to go through before this money can be put to use, so there is no start date for the project yet, but once it does get started, Oswalt said it should take about 10 months to a year.