We have three programs that are focused on achieving clean water: C-SAW (Consortium for Scientific Advancement of Watersheds), CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhanced Program), and Storm Water Management.
The Consortium for Scientific Assistance to Watersheds (C-SAW) is a team of specialists who provide FREE organizational and scientific technical assistance to Pennsylvania-based watershed and conservation organizations.
C-SAW does not conduct watershed monitoring or assessments. Instead, C-SAW helps watershed organizations do a better job with their own monitoring and assessments.
The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) pays farmers and other landowners to conserve and enhance their land. CREP agreements have significantly helped in cleaning up and maintaining New York City’s watershed and drinking water, improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and mitigating floods in Washington State. CREP is available for eligible cropland, and for marginal pastureland along non-forested streams. CREP Programs are being conducted with the support of US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS,) with four people currently working in the field for PNERCD on this program.
Storm Water Management is an area where PNERCD has held educational efforts to inform local communities of impending regulatory requirements.
Our newest project, Grass4Heat, is very exciting because it is demonstrating how farmers and rural businesses can create their own heating fuel from natural grasses, even mulch hay from unused fields for less than $10,000 equipment cost including the stove.
The cost can be shared among several farmers/rural businessmen, and REAP funds can be obtained for 25% grant and for loans up to 75% of the total. If the farmers already have the material to make the pellets and the equipment, the only direct cost is time fuel to run the machinery for several days. Then the resulting pellets provide heat for the season for one or more families at no additional cost. That is a significant cost saving project, and we hope the beginning of a regional renewable energy market
In 2008 PNERCD received a Growing Greener grant to develop and build a mobile pelletizer for the purpose of densifying switchgrass into biomass pellets. This was a major project, costing close to $400,000, and it generated much interest throughout the region and the state. Many local farmers planted switchgrass in anticipation of a regional market developing. The machine was demonstrated at various locations like the State Farmshow, Bloomsburg Fair, Penn State and assorted farm events. PNERCD still has the machine, and hopes to expand its use following some equipment upgrades.
Sustainable Agriculture & Organic Foods
This is a priority area which PNERCD would like to develop through the year. Volunteers, funding and ideas are needed to move this along.
In 2012 the Council did a video on The How & Why of Certified Organic Farming. Discussions have been held regarding the need for education on what constitutes organic farming, formally and informally. Also, there could be value in developing a list of local providers of healthy foods.
Registration Information on PNERCD
The official registration and financial information Pocono Northeast Resource Conservation & Development Council may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement. PNERC&D is a registered 501 (c)3 organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible in accordance with law. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, at 1-800-732-0999. PNERC&D is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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