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Extension's Discovery Watershed Initiative offers newsletter

Posted: February 15, 2011

Penn State Extension's Discovery Watershed Initiative is offering an e-newsletter to highlight some of the tools and approaches developed for nutrient and sediment reduction within Pennsylvania's watersheds.
Route 30 Bridge over Susquehanna River, Lancaster County (Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS)

Route 30 Bridge over Susquehanna River, Lancaster County (Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS)

The Pennsylvania Discovery Watersheds Initiative is a statewide program that promotes a partnership approach to holistically address nonpoint-source pollution stemming from activities across residential, agricultural, forested, commercial and municipal landscapes.

Much of the initiative's efforts to date have focused on the Conewago Creek watershed, which was designated as Pennsylvania's Chesapeake Bay showcase watershed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Conewago Creek Collaborative Conservation Initiative is a three-year pilot project in Lancaster, Lebanon and Dauphin counties.

Titled "Watershed Winds," the newsletter features many of the best management practices and partnership-building activities underway in the Conewago watershed, but stories about other watershed agencies and organizations around the state also will provide a forum for sharing lessons learned and innovative approaches.

"Watershed restoration efforts are nothing new in Pennsylvania," said Diane Oleson, natural resources extension educator in York County. "State, municipal, agency and community organizations already are cleaning up streams, planting buffers, controlling erosion, reducing nutrient runoff and more across the state. The mission of this newsletter is to share information among the groups carrying on this vital activity."

Oleson said the renewed focus on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay requires new approaches and partnerships at the local-watershed level, and success in reducing nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) and sediment loads in Pennsylvania's small watersheds depends on inter-agency, organization and citizen cooperation.

"We invite municipalities, agencies and watershed groups with stories or information to share to contact us and submit them for possible inclusion in the newsletter," she said.