WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) today announced the inclusion of $2.184 million in direct federal funding for the restoration of the Pequea Creek watershed in Lancaster County, Pa., in the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus legislation set to be signed into law this week.
For the first time in a decade, senators were able to request funds for specific projects in annual appropriations bills. Senators Cardin and Casey worked cooperatively to ensure passage of this investment as part of their first round of congressionally directed spending requests to address major sources of environmental degradation in a county that delivers more pollution to the Chesapeake Bay than any other county in the commonwealth. This funding will allow expanded outreach and education to enable farmers to implement best management practices on their lands to reduce waste runoff that flows downstream into the Chesapeake Bay. The funding also will help ensure compliance with environmental standards, boost enrollment in conservation programs, and enhance modeling and monitoring to improve soil and water quality.
“Pollution doesn’t respect state boundaries, which is why I have collaborated closely with Senator Casey to find ways to reduce upstream sources of pollution that make their way to the Chesapeake Bay,” said Senator Cardin. “This federal investment will help us work more cooperatively with farmers and expand the use of the best-available technologies to identify the most effective conservation strategies to reduce pollution that enters the Susquehanna River Basin.”
“Agricultural runoff across the Susquehanna River Basin significantly impairs the quality of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Senator Casey. “I worked with Senator Cardin to support Pennsylvania farmers implement practices to keep sediment and nutrients out of waterways, which will restore the quality of the Chesapeake Bay for fisherman, boaters, swimmers and all those who rely on the Bay. In addition to cleaning up our waterways and reducing further pollution, this funding brings us one step closer to a more sustainable economy.”
The direct federal investments will support practices that keep soils and nutrients on the land instead of in the water, such as cover crops, no-till agriculture, nutrient management, animal waste management, riparian buffers, streambank fencing, streambank stabilization, and reducing legacy sediment in the approximately 148-square-mile Pequea Creek Watershed.
“CBF appreciates the hard work and partnership of Senators Cardin and Casey securing the funds for restoration work on the Pequea Creek watershed. Cleaning up a Lancaster County creek that feeds into the Bay is an excellent example of how improving local water quality benefits central Pennsylvania communities as much as the Chesapeake Bay,” said Denise Stranko, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Federal Executive Director. “We commend the senators for their steadfast commitment to the Bay and its waterways.”