WAY is a coalition of stakeholders being innovative leaders encouraging watershed-based planning, restoration and protection in York County, Pennsylvania, and beyond.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's Happening in Our Watersheds

The heat is on again! Unseasonably warm weather is raising the temperature of streams across the Mid-Atlantic Region. Many of our cold water fisheries have been showing daytime and nighttime temps in the low 80s and 70s, respectively. Such high temperatures stresses cold water species fish. Native trees and shrubs in the riparian areas along our many small headwater streams helps reduce in-stream water temperature by 10-20 degrees F.

Rainfall has been down too. Here in central York County we had no significant rain (.0.10 inch) between mid-June and mid-July. On July 13 we had 3-5 inches in as many hours causing local flooding, bank erosion and sedimentation of many small streams.

Generally, dry summers affect water quality both here and in the Chesapeake Bay differently. During dry weather dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus levels in flowing headwater streams increases sometime causing algae blooms. In contrast to this, the Susquehanna River and Bay benefit from these low rainfall because of reduced suspended sediment and its transport.

WAY received word Friday that DEP executed its Growing Greener grant for the Pine Run restoration project, a tributary in the North Branch Muddy Creek. Muddy Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited plans to stabilize up to 1700 linear feet of severely degraded stream, restore the riparian buffer, and fence cattle out of the stream. WAY is assisting MCTU as grant administrator.

WAY is also administering Growing Greener grant for restoration project on Hollow Run, East Branch Codorus Creek, and Violet Hill Tributary to the main steam of Codorus Creek, near York College. WAY is partnering with York County Parks and Recreation Department and York College for these projects, individually and separately.

Our partnering watershed organizations are reminded of the upcoming rounds of DEP's 319 NPS Program and Growing Greener Program grants due August 6 and September 1, respectively.