The Wolf Administration is providing funding to implement the Muncy Creek Streambank Restoration and Protection Project located in Hughesville Borough and Wolf Township, Lycoming County. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded a 2019 Growing Greener grant award of $327,284 to the Lycoming County Commissioners for the work.
The project will stabilize 500 feet of streambank that has been eroded by numerous flood events, sending an estimated 4,000 tons of sediment downstream over the past seven years. The stream has migrated close to a well pump house that provides public drinking water to 2,900 area residents. The site is vulnerable to additional damage and the public water supply well is at risk of total loss if action is not taken.
“This project to correct severe streambank erosion will also protect critical public drinking water infrastructure and reduce sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Lycoming County has experienced flooding events with significant impacts over several consecutive years. Restoring this section of Muncy Creek and stopping this erosion will provide a substantial benefit to the community.”
During the grant application review process, subsequent flooding carved Muncy Creek more than six feet closer to the water supply well, increasing the project cost over initial estimates and making the danger to public infrastructure more acute. A portion of the access road to the well house has already been washed away.
“This award is an opportunity for multiple levels of government to work together efficiently, as conditions and project costs have changed on the ground,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
Streambank restoration has been shown to improve the biological integrity of a stream by reducing pollution runoff. Muncy Creek is a trout-stocked fishery.
One of the largest investments into Pennsylvania’s environment, Growing Greener projects have been instrumental in cleaning up abandoned mine lands, preserving farmland, and protecting and restoring watersheds throughout the commonwealth.
The Growing Greener grant program is supported by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, which receives its funding from landfill tipping fees.