For Immediate Release Contacts: Schuylkill River Heritage Area Distributes Over $134,000 in Exelon Grants to Improve Schuylkill River Watershed During the grant announcement Tuesday, a regional effort was launched to expand the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund program. SCHWENKSVILLE — The Schuylkill River Heritage Area has awarded $134,900 in grants from Exelon Nuclear to three non-profit agencies for projects aimed at improving water quality in the Schuylkill River and its tributaries. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by a collaboration of agencies within the Schuylkill Action Network (SAN). The memorandum represents an effort on the part of SAN to expand the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund and increase sources of funding. "Today we not only announce the three newest Schuylkill River Watershed Restoration Program grant recipients for projects aimed at improving water quality in the Delaware River's largest tributary, but begin an important effort to expand funding opportunities for more projects like these in the future," said Carol R. Collier, Executive Director of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). The announcement took place Tuesday at the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy in Schwenksville, which received a Schuylkill River Restoration Fund grant in 2006. Those in attendance had the opportunity to learn how that project, which involved the reconstruction and stabilization of a tributary of the Unami Creek, has benefited the watershed. The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund was created by Exelon Nuclear in 2006 to support projects that enhance the quality of water in the Schuylkill River—a source of drinking water for over one million people—and its tributaries. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area oversees the fund, distributing money annually to non-profit organizations and government agencies. The newly signed memorandum of understanding represents a move by the agencies in the Schuylkill Action Network to garner funds from additional businesses and corporations.
“Partnering with SAN will enhance our ability to expand this program and, ultimately, fund more projects,” said Kurt Zwikl, executive director of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. This year, three projects were selected that focus on agricultural improvements, stream bank restoration, and stormwater mitigation. Projects selected were:
• Berks County Conservancy: $15,500 to address dairy farm manure issues that are
currently negatively impacting Maiden Creek.
• Montgomery County Lands Trust: $25,000 for installation of a stormwater
infiltration system for stormwater mitigation of an unnamed tributary of Scioto Creek which flows to Perkiomen Creek.
• Pennsylvania Environmental Council: $97,400 for stormwater detention basin
retrofit demonstration projects in the Wissahickon watershed, including construction, education, outreach and community relations.
Recipients were chosen by a committee of representatives from Exelon, DRBC, Philadelphia Water Department, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and the Schuylkill River Heritage Area, The annual fund is part of a demonstration project for the water diversion program at Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station and is under the purview of the DRBC. The fund was created by Exelon Nuclear in January 2006 as a condition of a 2004 DRBC docket decision approving the company’s request for an opportunity to demonstrate that greater operational flexibility to meet its cooling water needs for the Limerick Generating Station would not cause negative environmental impacts to the Perkiomen Creek or the Schuylkill River. This year, Exelon contributed $162,123 into the fund, $24,260 of which will be carried over to the 2009 grant round. Remaining funds were used to cover costs of administering the grants. The Schuylkill Action Network (SAN) is now seeking to expand the fund by including contributions from additional businesses and corporations in an effort to support more water protection and enhancement projects across the Schuylkill River Watershed. To that end, a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by SAN agencies and organizations, including the EPA Mid-Atlantic Region, DEP, Philadelphia Water Department, DRBC, and Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Inc. SAN is a voluntary collaboration of agencies partnering to protect and restore Schuylkill waters. The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area is a non-profit organization that uses conservation, education, recreation, tourism, and cultural and historic preservation as tools for community revitalization and economic development. For more information about the SRHA visit Exelon Corporation is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities with approximately 5.2 million customers and more than $14 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry’s largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.2 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and gas to more than 460,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.
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