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State tours streambank stabilization project in Snyder County

A manager from the state DEP joined other watershed experts to tour a farm near Middleburg where a project aims to reduce pollution in local creeks and streams.

SNYDER COUNTY, Pa. — Crews spent the morning stabilizing part of Middle Creek at a farm near Middleburg. The streambanks are being stabilized to stop sediment from going into the water.

"When the dirt gets into the stream, it impacts the water quality. It covers the bottom of the stream, makes it difficult for fish who live here," said Reneé Carey, executive director of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy.

"It's really going to improve the flow of the stream through here, so it's not as erosive on the banks and doesn't down cut them, basically break the banks down," said Jason Fellon, a watershed manager for the Department of Environmental Protection's northcentral region.

Fellon says this and other similar projects were funded through a $120,000 Growing Greener grant. The project uses logs and rocks to redirect water pressure away from streambanks toward the center of the stream channel, helping to reduce pollution before it even enters the water.

"We'll continue to build these structures out, continue to backfill some rock and cover these structures up with the soil, re-vegetate everything. You'll see trees planted here, new fences will go up."

Since 2009, the group has done more than 200 of these projects with plans to do more.

"It's a privilege to work with our local farmers to not only help them economically but also environmentally address these resource concerns," said Lauren Cheran, Snyder County Conservation District watershed specialist.

This project in the Middleburg area is expected to be finished later this week.

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