Welcome to the Lancaster County Watershed Website!

This site is designed to promote and foster watershed protection efforts throughout Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Volunteer Opportunities

Watershed Volunteer Events
  • None at this time
Watershed Events
  • Octoraro Watershed Association Photo Contest - Open to anyone taking pictures within the Octoraro Watershed and following contest rules. Entries need to be in to the OWA office by March 24, 2020. (for more information visit the OWA website or email Chotty Sprenkle)

Funding Opportunities

Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants (Pre-Proposal deadline February 28, 2020)
The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) partnership, is soliciting proposals to restore water quality and habitats of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams. NFWF is soliciting proposals under the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants (INSR) program to accelerate the rate and scale of water quality improvements specifically through the coordinated and collaborative efforts of sustainable regional-scale partnerships in implementing proven water quality improvement practices more cost-effectively. Projects proposing to implement water quality improvement projects or practices at the pilot or demonstration scale, through ad-hoc project-scale partnerships, or via small-scale applications of new or innovative technologies are encourages to apply for funding through the separate Small Watershed Grants (SWG) program. A pre-proposal deadline of February 28th has been created for the INSR grant with a May 1st full-proposal deadline after that. For more information on the INSR grant opportunity please visit the NFWF website. www.nfwf.org.
Community Conservation Partnership Program Grants (deadline April 22,2020)
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will soon be opening up the application period for their Community Conservation Partnership Program Grants (C2P2). These grants are intended for recreation, conservation, riparian buffer, trail, and community based projects. Prior to the grants opening up on January 15, 2020 DCNR is having grant applicant workshops for those thinking of applying for these funds. The local grant workshop will be held on November 14th in Camp Hill. For more information on the grant wkp. or for a grant package visit the DCNR website, www.dcnr.pa.gov. Grant deadline is April, 22, 2020.
Riparian Forest Buffer Grants Program (deadline April 22, 2020)
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will be begin accepting applications to support the installation of Riparian Forest Buffers on January 15th. Eligible activities include: landowner outreach, buffer design, site preparation and buffer installation, plant materials and tree shelters, and short-term maintenance (within the 4-year grant period). Projects can propose conventional or multifunctional (income-producing) riparian buffers. Applicants are strongly encouraged to implement an average buffer width of at least 35 feet. Applicants who undertake a buffer project must be willing to enter into a landowner agreement with each participating landowner for a minimum of 25 years. Applications are due April 22nd. For more information on this grant program visit the DCNR website, www.brcgrants.dcnr.pa.gov.
Commonwealth Financing Authority Act 13 Grants (deadline May 31, 2020)
The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) is now accepting grant applications for their Act 13 funding. The funds are generated through impact fees paid by natural gas drillers. Funds can be used for Watershed Restoration projects, Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment, Orphan or Abandoned Well Plugging Program, Baseline Water Quality Data, Sewage Facilities Program, Flood Mitigation projects, or Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program. Grants are due by May 31, 2020. For more information visit the CCFA website (www.dced.pa.gov/programs-funding/commonwealth-financing-authority-cfa/)
Embrace-A-Stream (EAS Program (rolling deadline)
Embrace-A-Stream (EAS) is a matching grant program administered by Trout Unlimited chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation. Projects funded include; on-the-ground restoration/protection/conservation project, education/outreach, applied research, advocacy efforts, and feasibility studies. This grant has a rolling deadline. For more information, visit http://www.tu.org/conservation/watershed-restoration-home-rivers-initiative/embrace-a-stream

What is a watershed?

A watershed is the area of land that drains to a specific body of water, whether a stream, pond, lake, river or ocean. A watershed area can be as large as the many states or as small as your backyard. Everyone lives in a watershed. (Check out this video to learn more about What a Watershed Is & Why It Is Important.)

Do you know your watershed address?

Just like your home address is broken down into country - state - city - street, your watershed address can be found in much the same way. Why is this important? Because whatever we do in Lancaster County will eventually affect the water quality of our friends and neighbors downstream.

Why is a site like this needed?

In Lancaster County there are over 1,400 miles of streams and creeks. Of this total, nearly 50% of these streams are impaired or polluted according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Add to this total the number of stream miles that are not polluted, but will be affected in some way by increased development pressure, storm water issues, or land use changes in the coming years. One can see how the water quality of Lancaster County could be considered in jeopardy.

What does the County Conservation District's Watershed Specialist do?

They provide technical, informational and organizational assistance that will improve watershed organization development and the quality and quantity of the county's surface and groundwater resources.  The focus of their work relates to watershed assessment, procurement of funding, technical assistance, and the creation, implementation, and coordination of work plans and strategies to restore and protect groundwater and surface water resources locally.