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DEP grants Bucks County $20,000 to assist with Neshaminy Watershed

By Emily Thiel, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 03 2012 12:01:44 PM CDT
Bucks County commissioners

Bucks County commissioners

LEVITTOWN, Pa. -

Bucks County has received a grant in the amount of $20,000 to assist county municipalities in protecting and preserving the Neshaminy Watershed.

County commissioners took it upon themselves to assist their municipalities in the work, gaining a grant through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The funds from the grant assist with developing a sediment reduction plan for the Neshaminy Creek watershed.

The Neshaminy Creek flows between Bristol and Bensalem townships before emptying into the Delaware River. Almost all of the municipalities in Bucks County are located in the watershed and have the new responsibility to reduce sediment and pollution in the stream.

Because the municipalities are required to keep the Neshaminy Watershed up to standards, the county applied and received the $20,000 through the coastal management grant through the DEP.

Bucks County has the same requirements as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) within the Clean Water Act, which, according to the Department of Environment Protection, "is the calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still safely meet water quality standards."

"We [got] a grant for this work to be done on behalf of the municipalities so that they don't have to individually go out and do their own study," said chief clerk Lynn Bush.

Commissioner Robert G. Loughery and Bush announced the grant a few weeks ago at the Bucks County Conservation District.

"Everyone was very pleased that we were able to secure this grant and relieve the burden on the municipalities," said Bush.

The DEP has stated that coastal zones and related shore lands face an increasing amount of pressure due to development, erosion, population and environmental destruction.

The grant will support programs to improve public access, measure the impact of the pollution sources, preserve habitats for wildlife and educate the public on the importance of environmental conservation.

The Department of Environmental Protection awarded a total of more than $900,000 in annual coastal management grants to various zones in Pennsylvania where the environment is being impacted.

The grants are specific to preserve the coastal areas of Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary, whose coastal zone is local in Bucks, Delaware and Philadelphia counties.

Bucks County received five of the 26 grants, totaling $165,000, to improve Pennsylvania's coastal zones within the county.