The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) lists the Conowingo Creek Watershed as an impaired stream. Because the Conowingo is historically a coldwater fishery and at one time supported a viable trout fishery, the Donegal Chapter of Trout Unlimited (DTU) was interested in its restoration.
RETTEW worked closely with DTU to secure grant funding to prepare a total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation plan and later helped implement the planned restoration projects. All efforts required the voluntary compliance of landowners within the watershed. RETTEW’s stream restoration knowledge and experience were invaluable to DTU and resulted in the successful cooperation of landowners and municipal officials.
RETTEW collected real-time data using low-altitude photography and linked the collected aerial shots with GPS to allow GIS-based mapping. We then modeled pollutant loading by land cover type and calculated necessary pollutant load reductions. RETTEW’s team developed a strategic plan using best management practices and received approval by PA DEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as project eligibility for federal restoration funding. RETTEW designed, permitted, and oversaw construction as DTU implemented the plan. Throughout the process, we provided project updates to the general public, students, municipal officials, regulators, and environmental organizations. RETTEW also presented its methodology at an EPA regional meeting regarding restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.