Today we joined in with The Conservation Fund in announcing 17 conservation projects which will receive more than $2.5 million in funding through our Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program. Together, these projects will restore more than 10 miles of wildlife habitat along streams, prevent thousands of pounds of harmful nutrients from entering waterways and support the construction of eight miles of new trails in central and southeastern Pennsylvania.
The Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program is a voluntary program designed to benefit the resources and support communities within our Atlantic Sunrise project area. It is not designed to replace traditional compensatory mitigation requirements of state and federal permitting agencies.
During much of the past year, The Conservation Fund has worked with us to provide an objective, scientifically-based identification and evaluation of natural resource stewardship needs within the project area. This included meetings with key stakeholders to identify significant natural resources such as forests, streams, and species habitats as well as recommended environmental stewardship opportunities.
We appreciate the guidance we received from The Conservation Fund and are confident this formal approach to environmental stewardship will greatly benefit the project area.
Once complete, the 17 projects chosen to receive Environmental Stewardship funds will result in the restoration of more than 10 miles and 30 acres of streamside habitat, the creation of new trails expected to be used by around 200,000 people, and the storage of approximately 925 tons each year of manure, which reduces quantities of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium entering nearby streams and improves water quality.