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$50,000 GRANT TO BE USED IN CLEAN-UP OF COUNTY CREEK
THE LITTLE NESCOPECK CREEK WILL BENEFIT FROM
THE FIRST ROUND OF RIVER CONSERVATION GRANTS
ANNOUNCED THURSDAY BY GOVERNOR RIDGE

By RENITA FENNICK; Times Leader Staff Writer

Friday, July 21, 1995     Page: 3A

The Little Nescopeck Creek in Luzerne County will be the target of a clean-up plan to be developed by an Emmaus environmental group using a $50,000 state grant.
    The award to Wildlands Conservancy was included in the first round of river conservation grants announced Thursday by Gov. Tom Ridge. Grants totaling more than $751,000 statewide are funded through the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund Act.
    "These grants demonstrate the commonwealth's commitment to developing partnerships with local governments and environmental organizations to conserve our state's valuable water resources," Ridge said.
    Wildlands Conservancy plans to develop a river conservation management plan and action agenda to address a mine acid discharge problem in the Little Nescopeck Creek.
    State Rep. George Hasay, R-Shickshinny, said he was not familiar with the funding for the creek.
    "I'm not sure exactly what will be done with that money but I do know that eventually Little Nescopeck Creek will become a state park," Hasay said.
    Little Nescopeck Creek runs for 10 miles through several municipalities in the southwestern portion of the county. The mine acid leaks from the Jeddo Tunnel in Butler Township.
    Founded in 1973, Wildlands Conservancy is a private, nonprofit agency dedicated to preserving open space in the eastern part of the state.
    "We work with the public, municipalities, the state, whoever is interested in environmental studies," Jennifer Robinson of Wildlands Conservancy, said.
    Robinson is coordinator of the group's stream corridor conservation program, which is managing the Little Nescopeck Creek project.
    Robinson says the creek is "relatively healthy...(but) is seriously impacted by acid mine drainage discharge from the Jeddo Tunnel, which enters the stream near its headwaters and affects it for most of its 10-mile length."
    The Jeddo Tunnel was created at the turn-of-the-century during the height of the deep mining industry. After the decline of anthracite mining, the tunnel continued to drain water from abandoned mine areas.
    Little Nescopeck Creek enters Nescopeck Creek, which runs between the Susquehanna and Delaware rivers.
    The first round of grants was approved by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for 19 river conservation planning projects and two implementation projects.
    In addition to the Luzerne County project, Lackawanna, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties will share a $49,900 grant for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to develop a river conservation plan for the Tunkhannock Creek.
   
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