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LCC Science Helping to Target Restoration Sites to Improve Water Quality in the Susquehanna and Potomac Watersheds

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, the EPA, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are investing $28 million in restoration activities – from wetlands to riparian buffers to floodplain reconnection - in the Susquehanna and Potomac watershed to improve water quality.

At a recent meeting with state agency partners, Appalachian LCC science and decision-support tools were presented to demonstrate how they could help identify priority sites for restoration that would also accrue fish and wildlife benefits.

On January 5th, USFWS Science Applications Assistant Regional Director Ken Elowe and Acting North Atlantic LCC Coordinator Mike Slattery attended a meeting in Harrisburg, PA with state agency partners focused on identifying and streamlining restoration activities at priority sites in these key watersheds. The Appalachian LCC riparian restoration decision support tool – which allows users to identify vulnerable stream and riverbanks that lack tree cover and shade in coldwater stream habitats in order to plant trees and provide shade - was of particular interest, as the Commonwealth is planning on using these funds for riparian buffer plantings as well as developing a riparian buffer incentive program.

Following up on the meeting, a science delivery tools workshop has been proposed where personnel from the Appalachian and North Atlantic LCC will present their tools, science products and other information to staff of state fish and wildlife agencies from PA, NY, and perhaps NJ.

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