State Agency, Environmental Groups, and Universities Partner to Implement Precision Conservation in Pennsylvania

NFWF Funds High Tech, High Impact Project

State College, PA, Aug 25, 2016 – Today, the  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)awarded funding to the  Chesapeake Conservancy for a major restoration and conservation initiative in the Susquehanna River watershed to be conducted in partnership with the  Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural ResourcesSusquehanna UniversityBloomsburg University, and the  Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  The three-year initiative will pilot a new approach to conservation with local partners in Pennsylvania’s Centre and Clinton counties to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution from nonpoint sources to improve water quality and scenic beauty.  Once complete, the project may serve as a national model.

The NFWF grant provides funding to help local partners plan their restoration projects using new high-resolution land cover and LiDAR datasets to better determine precisely where projects will create the highest-impact opportunities for conservation and restoration. The project will also help measure progress toward achieving the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Program Agreement goals.

“We are very grateful to NFWF for funding this joint proposal. We’re excited to work with our partners in Centre and Clinton counties to showcase the power of new technology and data to help guide efficient decision making for the use of limited restoration funding and to measure our collective progress toward our goals,” Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn said. “We live in a brave new world where transformative technologies are the great opportunity of our time.  This grant will allow us to use these innovations to enhance our collective impact for environmental conservation.” 

The Chesapeake Conservancy and partners have spent the last 18 months working with the Chesapeake Bay Program to produce 1 meter by 1 meter resolution land cover data for the entire 64,000 square mile Chesapeake Bay watershed. This is one of the largest, high-resolution land cover datasets ever produced and will be open source data available to all government agencies, nonprofits and individuals across the watershed.  With willing landowners, the NFWF project will make use of this revolutionary data set and enhance the implementation of Best Management Practices in the highest priority locations for Clinton and Centre counties.



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