PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Wednesday awarded $12.2 million in 2023 Countywide Action Plan (CAP) Implementation Grants to county teams across Pennsylvania’s share of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to support their progress in reducing nutrient and sediment pollution to restore the health of local streams, rivers, and lakes.

“In every county, local leaders and partners in agriculture, conservation, and other areas are carrying out measures they’ve determined will have the biggest impact in reducing pollution and bringing the benefits of a healthy watershed to their communities,” said DEP Acting Secretary Ramez Ziadeh.

“DEP is committed to doing everything it can to support this unprecedented grassroots action and progress. The 2023 CAP Implementation funding will enable teams to build on their previous years’ successes and launch new projects, accelerating Pennsylvania’s Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan,” Ziadeh continued.

Courtesy of DEP

Pennsylvania is mandated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to lower its nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution by 2025.

The state is also required to reduce nitrogen by more than 32.5 million pounds and phosphorus by 850,000 pounds.

The 2023 grants were awarded to the following Midstate organizations

Organization Grant Amount
Adams County Conservation District$318,149
Cumberland County Commissioners$570,360 
Franklin County Conservation District$1,035,542
Lancaster County Conservation District$3,066,264 
Lebanon County Conservation District$451,234 
York County Planning Commission$1,042,938
Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Dauphin, Perry, Juniata, and Mifflin)$1,036,915

Nutrient pollution and eroded sediment enter streams, rivers, and lakes from wastewater treatment and a range of human activities on land, including using too much fertilizer, plowing and tilling farm fields, stripping away trees and vegetation, and expanding concrete and paved surfaces.

All or part of 43 counties are in Pennsylvania’s share of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The area spans half the state and includes over 12,000 miles of polluted streams and rivers.