Valley Creek Watershed Grant Program

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission


Grant amount: US $3,000 - US $66,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Organizations Individuals

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Chester County, Pennsylvania

Location of residency: Pennsylvania

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Overview:

Program Funding

Four rail companies owned the Paoli Rail Yard which was the source of the PCBs that contaminated the Valley Creek Watershed. The Valley Creek Trustee Council entered into legal settlements with the four companies to provide restitution for the damage done to the fishery. The settlements included $1.35 million to create a Restoration Fund for the Valley Creek Watershed. As of February 2016, the Restoration Fund stood at approximately $1.0 million.

The main use of the Fund is to provide funding for restoration projects undertaken in the watershed that are consistent with the goals of the Restoration Plan. Funds are administered by the Valley Creek Trustee Council.

The goal of the Restoration Fund is to restore, replace or acquire equivalent natural resources of the Valley Creek Watershed which have been injured, destroyed or lost by the release of hazardous substances from the Paoli Rail Yard Superfund site. 

Projects Eligible for Funding

The VCTC has identified five broad categories of projects that are likely to compensate for past lost uses of the Valley Creek watershed (e.g. angling) through improvements in habitat, water quality, and flow regime and by improving public access to the stream. Projects eligible for funding must fall into one of the following categories:   

  • Stormwater Management - Managing stormwater helps reduce stormwater runoff that erodes stream banks and causes the greatest amount of sediment buildup in Valley Creek Watershed. By permitting greater amounts of precipitation to evaporate or enter the soil and supplement the base flow to Valley Creek, the volume and velocity of storm flow in Valley Creek would diminish and result in a corresponding reduction in both eroded streambanks and flooding. There are three project categories for managing stormwater:
    • retrofits of detention basins,
    • infiltrating on lands suitable for infiltration (LSI), and
    • infiltration using low-impact technology projects on small parcels of developed land (LID).
  • Stream Channel Stabilization - Poor fish cover, bank instability, lack of riparian vegetation, and excessive sedimentation are four issues that would be addressed by stream channel stabilization projects. Two types of stream channel stabilization are generally possible:
    • stream improvements - Stream improvements consist of creating pools to provide deeper cool spots for fish when water warms up during summer, providing cover for fish to escape natural and human predation, and narrowing stream channels to keep waters deeper and cooler and to provide sediment transport that removes excess sediment bars and deposition. 
    • streambank stabilization - Stream stabilization reduces erosion and sediment generation by reestablishing a balanced sediment transport process for the stream
  • Establishment of Greenways -  Project categories to achieve greenways include:
    • land preservation from development or from activities that would cause increased runoff or pollution in the stream,
    • conservation easements on private lands – includes the placement of easements on lands in order to prevent the use of impervious surfaces on that land, and
    • stream buffers in riparian corridors that have a variable width depending on type of growth .
  • Increased Public Access - This category would make it easier for anglers and other visitors to access or view the streams. Methods include:
    • reducing the amount of posted (no trespassing) land unavailable to anglers;
    • creating more fishing points and increase parking availability (without increasing runoff) for stream visitors and anglers; and
    • creating trails that would enhance access to streams.
  • Brook Trout Restoration in Crabby Creek, Tributary to Little Valley Creek - Crabby Creek (Unnamed tributary to Little Valley Creek in PFBC records) had a wild brook trout population as late as 1995. On October 2, 2002, surveys of two 150 meter stretches of Valley Creek produced no brook trout. The PFBC believes the brook trout population has been extirpated primarily due to scour. Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 may have had a significant impact on the brook trout population. The PFBC recommends re-establishing brook trout upstream from S.R. 252 as an appropriate restoration goal.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Any person or organization may apply for grants.
  • Although the organization does not have to be located in Valley Creek watershed, the project has to be implemented in the watershed.
  • Education or outreach for projects funded by the Trustee Council is encouraged and in some cases fundable.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek and secure matching funds (such as grants from other institutions, cash, and in-kind labor, equipment, materials, and supplies) to supplement VCTC funds and assist in implementing their proposed projects.
    • Matching funds of 25% will be required in evaluating applications.
  • All applicants will be required to obtain necessary environmental and building permits from appropriate local, state, and federal agencies.
    • Costs associated with obtaining required permits and conducting necessary surveys may be reimbursed to applicants, if requested in the application, or may be considered a matching or in-kind contribution.

Preferences:

  • The VCTC favors stormwater projects that are in first order streams.
    • The VCTC has determined that stream channel stabilization projects should be implemented after upland stormwater projects have been considered and/or implemented.

Ineligibility:

  • The VCTC will not approve projects which solely involve research, education, or outreach associated with the water resources of Valley Creek.