American Water's Pennsylvania division has announced that eight watershed-related projects across the commonwealth will receive financial support through the company’s 2017 Environmental Grant Program.

The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling nearly $30,000 for their community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

A panel of judges selected the grant recipients from nearly 40 applications, which were evaluated on such criteria as environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability.

Pennsylvania American Water awarded its 2017 Environmental Grants to Allegheny Land Trust (Allegheny County); California University of Pennsylvania (Washington County); Delaware River Basin Commission (Bucks and Northampton counties); Misericordia University (Luzerne County); River Alert Information Network (Washington County); South Fayette Conservation Group (Allegheny County); Upper Allen Township (Cumberland County); and West Norriton Township (Montgomery County).

“Each year, we receive an impressive list of applicants who are working to protect watersheds and sustain our environment,” said President Jeffrey McIntyre of Pennsylvania American Water. “Partnerships are the key to achieving goals, and we’re proud to partner with these organizations and their many volunteers to help achieve their goals of protecting our natural resources now and in the future.”

The 2017 Environmental Grant recipients are:

Allegheny Land Trust

The grant will be used for dumpsite cleanups at Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area, a protected green space with several tributaries to the Youghiogheny River. The cleanups will allow further habitat restoration and stream water monitoring.

California University of Pennsylvania

Funding will support a fish and macroinvertebrate survey of the Youghiogheny River that will enhance water quality management, along with existing survey information. The information will also be used for continued monitoring by local school groups within the watershed.

Delaware River Basin Commission

The funds will be used to purchase markers and equipment that the Boy Scouts will apply on storm drains in the Yardley and Nazareth areas, alerting residents about their impact on the Delaware River Watershed.

Misericordia University

Partnering with Lehman Sanctuary, the university will install and utilize advanced telemetry equipment to monitor water quality on the sanctuary’s property. The project will advance understanding of the biodiversity and allow remote monitoring of environmental conditions for school groups at the location.

River Alert Information Network

With the funding, the organization will coordinate watershed groups along with the Allegheny Watershed Alliance to identify local source water protection issues. Additionally, informational literature will be developed to educate community groups on source water protection.

South Fayette Conservation Group

The organization will purchase a groundwater and rainmaker model to be used as a hands-on educational tool to help students better understand point source and non-point pollution.

Upper Allen Township

The grant will support a riparian buffer project in Simpson Park along the Yellow Breeches Creek. Volunteers will plant new trees and shrubs to help stabilize the streambank as part of an ongoing riparian project.

West Norriton Township

Funding will support the Schuylkill River Invasive Weeds project, aimed at removing invasive plant species from the Norristown Basin, improving water quality along the river and habitats for wildlife.

Pennsylvania American Water is a subsidiary of American Water, which initiated the Environmental Grant Program in 2005 in Pennsylvania to support projects that protect or restore drinking water sources and surrounding watersheds. Since then, American Water has expanded the annual program to many of its state subsidiaries across the nation.