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Pennsylvania’s Coastal Resources Management Program has awarded over $350,000 for coastal projects in Erie County.

These grants, largely funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), were awarded to non-profit and government entities in Erie County that border Pennsylvania’s 76 miles of coastal lands or have a direct impact on water quality in our area.

"These grants play an important role to ensure the protection of our coastal waters," DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said. "This money will not only improve coastal waters, but provide additional recreational and educational opportunities for nearby residents."

Coastal zones and adjacent shore lands are facing increasing pressure from development, erosion, biodiversity losses and pollution. Coastal Zone Management Grants are intended to support programs that measure the impact of various pollution sources, improve public access, preserve habitat, and educate the public on the benefits of the state’s coastal zones.

Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive said, “These grants provide the necessary funding to enable many of our important coastal projects to move forward. Protecting and restoring the Lake Erie shoreline and watershed is critical to the quality of life in our local communities. These projects will further efforts to not only conserve our natural resources but also to enhance one of our most important economic drivers in Erie County.” Over the past ten years, the Pennsylvania Coastal Resource Management Program has provided more than four million in funding for coastal zone projects in Erie County.

The list of awarded 2014 CRM projects in Erie County:

  • Erie County Conservation District - $20,000 to employ a specialist to implement and track coastal non-point pollution management measures
  • Erie Times-News in Education - $23,800 for a recurring newspaper in education weekly page focusing on coastal zone environmental issues
  • Harborcreek Township - $35,500 to develop a master site plan for the newly acquired Shorewood Park
  • National Audubon Society - $50,000 to assess use of the near shore waters and airspace of Lake Erie by birds during migration seasons
  • Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - $7,200 to upgrade equipment for the free-to-the-public Lagoons by Pontoons operation in Presque Isle State Park
  • Pennsylvania State University, PA Sea Grant - $80,000 to develop an aquatic invasive species rapid response monitoring and surveillance system; build Marine Spatial Planning; and explore the Lake Erie coastal zone boundary and potential interests in expansion
  • County of Erie - $74,000 for coordination and technical assistance with Lake Erie Coastal Zone projects
  • County of Erie - $9,000 to assist Lake Erie coastal communities in administering the Bluff Recession and Setback Act of 1980
  • Regional Science Consortium - $25,000 to collect additional weather and wave data to complete an existing observation system which will provide safety information for boaters on the Pennsylvania portion of Lake Erie
  • Regional Science Consortium - $30,000 to develop an underwater survey team, survey shipwrecks and promote conservation of these and other shipwrecks

The Coastal Resources Management Program will begin accepting grant applications for FY2015 projects on Monday, August 18th and continue through Monday, October 20th until 4:00pm. Non-profit organizations, schools and universities, local government organizations, authorities and state agencies are all encouraged to apply until the current grant round closes.

To assist with the grant process, Erie County Planning and CRM will be hosting two grant solicitation workshops on August 20th at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Room 110 at 10am and 6pm. These workshops will provide information and instruction on how to apply to the CRM grant program.

For more information on awarded, and future, grants please contact the Julia Donahue, Erie County Department of Planning, at 814-451-6018 or jedonahue@eriecountygov.org.

Erie County Courthouse - 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501 - (814) 451-6000 - TDD Phone: (814) 451-6237 - Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm
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