Spring Creek Watershed Association On the Horizon

Over the months, I have reported on the efforts to explore restoration in the Spring Creek Watershed in the Hershey area. After nearly a year and many meetings — both in-person and virtually — the steering committee submitted a grant application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a 319 Grant for $132,759.38. If awarded, this grant enables us to develop a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) to assess and prioritize pollution issues and causes in the watershed.

The impairment sources are agriculture, golf courses, urban runoff/storm sewers, and habitat modification. The proposed WIP will identify the nonpoint source pollution control projects and activities needed to restore these impaired waters.

Given the large proportion of streams with impairments caused by sediment and habitat or flow regime alteration, a specific focus of the field assessment will include stream assessments to identify priority locations for stream restoration, including floodplain re-connection to address past modifications to the flow regime and stream habitat that are presently contributing to sediment pollution.

Spring Creek is designated for warm water fish aquatic life use. It is known to support an already healthy reproducing trout population, as observed by TU and other residents and business representatives currently meeting to explore the formation of a Spring Creek Watershed Association.

I want to invite our chapter members to join me in setting up the Watershed Association to carry out the restoration work. If interested, please call me at (717) 580-3958 or email info@dftu.org to join this effort. You can also click on the button above that will take you to a survey form where we’ll collect your contact information.

This potential to support cold-water fish, the watershed’s impaired status, and the local community’s interest in clean water initiatives identify the Spring Creek watershed as a priority for restoration work.

Yours in conservation,
Russ Collins