The Mountain Watershed Association received a Keystone Recreation, Park, & Conservation Fund grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to prepare a comprehensive Rivers Conservation Plan for the Indian Creek Watershed, a tributary to the Upper Youghiogheny River located in Fayette County. This watershed plan allows them to survey the streams’ resources and water quality, identify areas of improvement, and establish guidelines for restoration work. This assessment has helped guide a series of projects, including acid mine drainage remediation, water treatment system refurbishments, and streambank restoration.
Without state funding, the watershed association would not know what issues to address and in what priority. Moreover, the organization would not be able to address pollution, threatening the region’s drinking water, aquatic life, and recreational opportunities. In rural settings with few private funders, small nonprofits like the Mountain Watershed Association depend on the state to complete community projects. Otherwise, streams would continue running orange, having cascading effects on our health and that of local wildlife.