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On Sept. 3, 2019, the Bradford County Commissioners will open the application period for a new round of the successful County Stream Initiative Program.   

Since 2006, the commissioners have worked with the Bradford County Conservation District to implement this program which has completed over 80 stream restoration projects, many of which have helped protect threatened homes and businesses from streambank erosion.

As a result, over 21,000 feet (or 4 miles) of degraded streambank has been rehabilitated. Other accomplishments include annual sediment reductions of approximately 7,300 tons resulting in nitrogen and phosphorus reductions of 18,000 pounds and 7,300 pounds, respectively. Additionally, nearly 8 acres of forested riparian buffer have been created or enhanced adjacent to these completed projects. Some of the Best Management Practices that have been used to complete these projects are rock rip-rap toe protection, barbs, weirs, stacked rock walls, and log deflectors.

Funding for these projects was awarded to the commissioners through a Growing Greener grant provided by the Department of Environmental Protection and administered by the Bradford County Conservation District. 

The primary purpose of the Growing Greener program is to restore impaired waters or protect degraded waters within the Commonwealth. The first Bradford County Stream Initiative, in 2006, received $600,000 through the grant and since then has leveraged an additional $785,000 acquired from state and federal agencies as well as private landowners to yield a 10-year program which has invested over $1.5 million for property protection and nutrient and sediment reduction within Bradford County. 

Project costs have remained competitive and stable over the life of the grant and the program efficiencies are clear as project costs average $65 per linear foot. The great partnership that the commissioners and the Conservation District have with the program is that there are so many common goals being accomplished. Assistance and education are being provided to community members in need and a Commonwealth goal of reducing the amount of sediment and nutrients being flushed into the Chesapeake Bay are all being checked off the list.

Applications for funding will be taken during the month of September. After the Sept. 30 deadline, applications will be ranked by the Conservation District staff. 

Priority will be given to sites where a primary residence, business, sole access to a home or business, or utility is threatened, however all stream bank erosion problems will be considered (i.e. Working agricultural fields). Project applications are available at the commissioner’s office, the Conservation District office at the Stoll Natural Resource Center in Wysox, on the Conservation District’s website (www.bccdpa.com) and on BCCD’s Facebook page. If you have questions or are unable to obtain an application, please call Tess Flynn-Belles at the Conservation District at (570) 485-3129. 

The Bradford County Conservation District is committed to helping people manage resources wisely.  You can visit the Bradford County Conservation District at 200 Lake Rd in Wysox across from the Wysox Fire Hall. Contact us at (570) 485-3144 or visit our web page at www.bccdpa.com.