Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fish & Boat Commission: Special Fishing Opportunities Offered On Labor Day

The Fish and Boat Commission Wednesday announced it is offering two special fishing opportunities to entice adults and kids to fish on Labor Day, September 4.
The first is a $1 license for adult residents and nonresidents. The license - good for Labor Day only - provides an easy and affordable way for everyone to enjoy a special day with family and friends while fishing on the Commonwealth’s waters, says Steve Kralik, Director of the Bureau of Outreach, Education and Marketing.
“This is a great opportunity for lapsed anglers to renew their interest in the sport, and for first-timers to give fishing a try,” he said.
The second opportunity is the Mentored Youth Panfish Day. This provides youth anglers who have obtained a free mentored youth permit or have purchased a voluntary youth license an opportunity to fish on 19 Panfish Enhancement lakes.
The Panfish Enhancement lakes were chosen as mentored youth fishing opportunities because the waters are managed to increase the number and size of fish. Panfish include bluegill, pumpkinseed, and redear sunfish, which are collectively called sunfish; black and white crappies; and yellow perch.
“Kids should catch a lot of sunfish, crappies and perch, which makes the day fun,” said Kralik, who noted that as an added incentive, minimum size limits have been lifted for kids and their mentors on this day.
The 19 lakes will be open to all anglers all day, but only mentored youth participants (adults and kids) may keep fish under the minimum size.
The lakes included in the program are, by county:
-- Berks- Blue Marsh Reservoir
-- Cambria- Beaverdam Run Reservoir, Hinkston Run Reservoir, Wilmore Dam
-- Centre- Foster Joseph Sayers Lake
-- Chester- Chambers Lake
-- Fayette- Bridgeport Reservoir
-- Monroe- Bradys Lake, Gouldsboro Lake
-- Montour- Lake Chillisquaque
-- Pike- Lower and Upper Promised Land Lakes
-- Somerset- Quemahoning Reservoir
-- Washington- Cross Creek Lake, Peters Twp. Lake (Reservoir #2)
-- Westmoreland- Bridgeport Reservoir, Indian Lake, Lower Twin Lake, Northmoreland Lake, Upper Twin Lake
Kralik added that these opportunities are a way to remind anglers that fishing is a sport which can be enjoyed throughout the year and doesn’t end after trout or bass seasons or when school starts and kids return to the classroom.
“We want to show families where they can go to fish and how easy it can be to fit fishing into their fall schedules,” he said.
To participate in the mentored youth program, adult anglers (16 years or older) must have a valid Pennsylvania fishing license and be accompanied by a youth. Accompanying youth anglers must have either a free PFBC-issued permit or a purchase a voluntary youth fishing license.
Both permits and licenses can be obtained at the Gone Fishing PA website.

2017 Greenfest Environmental Festival To Be Held September 10 In Philadelphia

Greenfest Philly presented by Toyota Hybrids will be held on September 10 on Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th street in Philadelphia from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Greenfest is the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area and is the place to learn about living sustainably while having fun!
This event has something for everyone: shopping for local green wares, great food, live music, live demonstrations, kid-friendly activities, and more.
Since 2006, this popular event in early September provides a unique opportunity for 10,000-20,000 attendees to learn how to live life a little greener and healthier.
The festival’s 100+ vendors, local businesses, supporters and sponsors help transform Bainbridge Green into a festive, fun and educational outdoor marketplace.
Click Here to register as an exhibitor.
For more information, visit the Greenfest Philly webpage or contact the Clean Air Council’s Special Events Team at 215-567-4004 or send email to:

30 Environmental Groups Urge House To Vote Against Budget Bills That Would Demolish DEP

A coalition of 30 groups released a letter Thursday calling on the House of Representatives to reject Senate-passed budget bills, calling the package of legislation an unconstitutional plan to “decimate” the Department of Environmental Protection’s ability to regulate the fossil fuel industry.
The letter, which was signed by over 30 organizations, identifies several major concessions to the drilling industry.
Under the guise of balancing the budget with a small tax on drillers, the bills would empower private consultants to conduct environmental permit reviews, and would fast-track the permit approval process at the DEP.
The bills also would create an industry-friendly panel to review shale gas air quality permits, taking that responsibility out of the hands of the DEP entirely.
The bills also fail to include mechanisms to restrict conflicts of interest, setting the stage for a process where the drilling industry is quite literally policing itself.
The text of the letter follows—
House Bills 542, 453, 118 violate the Constitutional Environmental Rights of all Pennsylvanians. These bills set up a perilous process that undermines the Commonwealth’s fair and reliable implementation of its laws and the requirements of the Environmental Rights Amendment of the Constitution. These bills decimate the DEP by:
-- Outsourcing the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) core responsibilities to be carried out by private industry: These bills give industry the ability to essentially write and review its own permits using private consultants rather than DEP officials. This, slants the process toward degradation and exploitation rather than protection of communities. This change would impact every environmental permit, not only shale gas permits.
-- Imposing harshly inadequate review timelines: These bills favor the granting of shale gas permits by automatically granting approval if DEP does not act within a limited time frame, even if there is insufficient information about degradation to the local environment and human health, and even if degradation is likely to occur. There is even a money-back guarantee if DEP finds an application deficient and in need of more review, despite the costs DEP will incur in carrying out its duties.
-- Institutionalizing industrial influence: The bills fail to guard against self-dealing, allowing industry to pick from a set of private contractors review its permits, even when a clear conflict of interest exists. The package of bills also creates a panel of industry supporters to review shale gas air quality permits rather than DEP. This means no conflict of interest test or accountability for reviewers, no public review of permit actions, and no requirements regarding constitutional responsibilities.
-- Deepening environmental injustices: The package of bills perpetrates degradation of the environment and public health in places already heavily impacted by pollution. For example, the bills allow for streams to be turned into miles-long dumping grounds for the discharge of more pollution by mining activity and frack wastewater.
-- Misappropriating funds: The bills allow for misappropriation of Oil and Gas Lease Funds by failing to require compliance with Article 1, Section 27 [the Environmental Rights Amendment].
This package of bills is blatantly unconstitutional. We urge you to stand up for a functional Department of Environmental Protection by communicating to House leadership that you will oppose any bill with these or similar provisions.
Food & Water Watch; Marcellus Outreach Butler; Center for Coalfield Justice; Southwest PA Environmental Health Project; PSR Pennsylvania; Berks Gas Truth; Delaware Riverkeeper Network; Mountain Watershed Association; Pennsylvania Council of Churches; Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN); Clean Water Action; South Hills Area Against Dangerous Drilling (SHAADD); Elk County C.A.R.E.S.; Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens' Group; Save Our Salem; Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air; No Fracking Bucks; Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Group; Protect Penn-Delco; Citizens' Alliance Upholding a Safe Environment; Middletown Coalition for Community Safety; Protect Penn-Trafford; Uwchlan Safety Coalition; Aquashicola/ Pohopoco Watershed Conservancy; LAWPA (Local Authority Western PA); Damascus Citizens for Sustainability; Upper Burrell Citizens Against Marcellus Pollution UBCAMP; Schuylkill Pipeline Awareness; Pennsylvania Earth Guardians; Marcellus Protest; Allegheny County Clean Air Now; Citizens to Preserve Ligonier Valley; Resolution Media Fund; Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia; Energy Justice Network; Thomas Merton Center Ecojustice Working Group.
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Autumn Lecture Series Features Global Conservation Voices At Hawk Mountain Sanctuary

September 9th will kick off the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Autumn Lecture Series with a free lecture by British ornithologist Jemima Parry-Jones. She will be the first of the Series’ “global voices,” speaking about old world vulture conservation and what is being done to stop the decline of the important raptor.
This year’s impressive line-up features conservationists and birders from around the world, all brought to Kempton, Berks County to tell their story and inform the public of their important efforts.
A different expert will offer a free lecture most Saturdays at 5:30 pm through the end of October, and most will be held in the Hawk Mountain Visitor Center.
The schedule is as follows--
-- September 9: Old World Vulture Conservation, Presented by Jemima Parry-Jones, MBE, British Ornithologist.  Vultures are now listed as one of the most threatened groups of birds in the world according to IUCN. How can a group of birds that were very numerous have been brought so low in such a short space of time, and why? What is being done to save such an important group of birds from further declines and potential extinction?
-- September 30: Birding without Borders, Held in the Hamburg Area High School Auditorium, Presented by Noah Strycker, Big Year Birder. In 2015, birding guru Noah Strycker of Oregon became the first human to see more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single, year-long, round-the-world birding trip. Anything could have happened, and a lot did.He shared the adventure in real time on his daily blog, and now he reveals the inside story. This humorous and inspiring presentation about Strycker’s epic World Big Year will give you a real appreciation for the birds and birders of the world.
-- October 14: Arctic Raptors: Adaptations to an Extreme Environment, Presented by Jean-Francois Therrien, Hawk Mountain Senior Research Biologist.  Join JF as he reviews recent results from some of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's research programs, with an emphasis on Arctic raptor ecology. The audience will witness how we manage to study and monitor raptors living in this extreme environment via a slide show depicting field work situations. JF will discuss arctic species including snowy owls, peregrine falcons, and rough-legged hawks.
-- October 21: Veracruz River of Raptors: Stories from one of the largest migratory corridors in the world, Presented by Elisa Peresbarbosa, Executive Director of Pronatura Veracruz. The Veracruz River of Raptors Project in one of the International Programs of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.  Join Elisa as she talks about the migration ecology in Veracruz, show photos and videos of this wonderfull migration.
-- October 28: Migrating Birds Know No Boundaries: The Middle East Test Case, Presented by Yossi Leshem, Senior Researcher & Professor, Tel Aviv University. Yossi Leshem will show video clips and slides emphasizing how peace can be advanced by using raptor migration and other species as a platform for people-to-people activities in Israel and the Middle East. In Yossi's lecture you will hear about his research using radars, a motorized glider, UAVs, satellite transmitters and a network of ground observers.
After a Saturday of hawkwatching, hiking, and taking in scenic views, Visitors are encouraged to stay for an entertaining and informative talk by Hawk Mountain staff or other wildlife experts. No one can turn down the completely FREE and interesting opportunity.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website or call 610-756-6961.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Sanctuary, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit them on Flickr, be part of their Google+ Circle and visit their YouTube Channel.  Click Here to support Hawk Mountain.
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Auditor General DePasquale: Short Term Borrowing Adding Costs That Will Not Benefit State Taxpayers

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Thursday said the short term borrowing of $750 million to fill deficits in the state’s General Fund are hurting taxpayers.
“All of us should be deeply concerned about the current situation with our state budget. Yesterday, Treasury released a short-term loan of $750 million to the General Fund as a temporary solution to revenue shortfalls and to keep Pennsylvania’s state government functioning.
“Most worrisome is once the $750 million loan is repaid by the mandatory August 23 deadline Treasury forecasts the state’s general fund balance will fall below zero by August 29 and hit negative $1.6 billion by mid-September. This type of borrowing is like getting a bank loan to buy groceries and could prove calamitous for everyone in the Commonwealth.
“Costs are already getting added to the state budget including $141,000 in interest on the temporary loan. That is money that does not help a single Pennsylvania resident.
“Much is at risk: Funding for our schools, daycare for working families, health care for our most vulnerable citizens and protection of our air, water and land.
“Considering these dire conditions, I will monitor this situation and work with Treasurer Joe Torsella on potential options for the fiscal future of the commonwealth. It is important to note that both I and Treasurer Torsella must approve any debt taken on to address this shortfall. All – and I mean all – options will be on the table.
“And all options must be on the table. As Senate Appropriations Chair Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) said in his budget newsletter recently: ‘In the absence of a timely revenue package, it is possible the Commonwealth will be unable to secure a loan from an outside financial institution for short-term borrowing. If the Commonwealth is unable to secure sufficient funding from the State Treasurer or a financial institution, it will become necessary to temporarily suspend Commonwealth payments until there is sufficient revenue or to permanently suspend some payments if no revenue package is enacted.’”
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DEP Approves Emission Reduction Credits For Perdue Soybean Plant In Lancaster

Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced it has approved Perdue Agribusiness LLC’s application to use emission reduction credits at its soybean processing facility under construction in Conoy Township, Lancaster County.
To protect the environment, facilities such as Perdue’s are required to purchase credits generated by the permanent reduction of emissions at other facilities.
Air quality in Southcentral Pennsylvania is affected by emissions from a larger area, known as the Northeast Ozone Transport Region, which includes neighboring states such as New York.
Perdue will use 175.7 tons per year of volatile organic compound (VOC) credits from an industrial facility in Little Valley, New York, 76.59 tons per year of VOC credits from an industrial facility in Depew, New York, 9.11 tons per year of VOC credits from an industrial facility in Belleville, PA, and 6.6 tons per year of VOC credits from an industrial facility in Neville, PA.
“It is important to note that while VOC’s are considered to be ozone pollution precursors, the regional air quality is not expected to be negatively impacted by the operation of this plant,” said DEP Southcentral Regional Director Joseph Adams. “After a thorough review, DEP has determined that this application meets Pennsylvania’s Air Quality regulations and the standards established by the Clean Air Act. The use of these credits is part of the federal air emission requirements for this facility, which has the most stringent requirements of any similar facility in the country.”
DEP conducted a public hearing on the ERC application in July and received multiple comments. DEP’s responses to public comments, as well as other documentation of DEP’s ERC decision, can be found on the DEP Southcentral Regional Office Community Information webpage.
The use of emission reduction credits is required by the Air Plan Approval DEP issued to Perdue in May of 2016 for construction and operation of the soybean plant. This is the final permit needed from DEP for this facility.
Questions should be directed to John Repetz, DEP Southcentral Regional Office, at 717-705-4904 or send email to:

Help Wanted: McKean County Conservation District Watershed Specialist

The McKean County Conservation District is seeking qualified candidates to fill a Watershed Specialist position.  Applications are due by September 5.  Click Here for all the details.

Penn State: Injecting Manure Instead Of Surface Spreading Reduces Estrogen Loads In Streams

By Jeff Mulhollem, Penn State News

With water quality in the Chesapeake Bay suffering from excess nutrients and fish populations in rivers such as the Susquehanna experiencing gender skewing and other reproductive abnormalities, understanding how to minimize runoff of both nutrients and endocrine-disrupting compounds from farm fields after manure applications is a critical objective for agriculture.
A new study by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences shows that applying manure to crop fields by means of shallow disk injection into the soil rather than traditional surface broadcast significantly reduces estrogens in surface runoff.
This finding suggests that manure-application methods can be used to control the mobilization potential of estrogens and points to opportunities for protecting downstream water quality.
The research, published this month in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, also investigated how manure-application methods affected runoff of total dissolved phosphorus and dissolved organic carbon.
Researchers found that transport rates of those nutrients, to a lesser degree, also were lower after manure injection than after surface broadcast.
Earlier findings from the study, which was conducted from October 2014 through the summer of 2015, were published in the Journal of Environmental Quality in November 2016. The research sampled 10 surface runoff events from 12 research plots — six with each application method — after the fall application of manure.
The application of livestock manure to agricultural fields provides essential nutrients for crops and adds organic matter to soils.
However, manure also introduces emerging contaminants to the environment, including the natural estrogens 17 alpha-estradiol, 17 beta-estradiol, estrone and estriol, according to Heather Gall, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering.
The researchers used manure from dairy cattle, but estrogens are a component in the waste stream of not only dairy, but all livestock and humans.
Although this study focused on ubiquitous natural estrogens, synthetic estrogens also can affect water quality, such as ethinylestradiol, the active ingredient in birth control pills or synthetic androgens such as trenbolone, often given as ear implants to beef cattle.
Many factors influence the fate and transport of these manure-borne hormones, explained lead researcher Odette Mina, a recent doctoral degree graduate in agricultural and biological engineering, including the type of manure applied, the rate and timing of application, the method and history of application, as well as natural drivers such as hydrologic processes and biogeochemical cycling.
"The method of animal manure application can influence the availability of nutrients and estrogens to runoff water," said Mina. "Several studies have shown the potential benefits of shallow disk injection for reducing phosphorus and nitrate transport in surface runoff compared to surface broadcasting. Our research demonstrated significantly reduced estrogen transport in runoff from shallow disk injection plots relative to surface broadcast plots."
Mina came to the research in an unorthodox way. She got her undergraduate degree in chemistry more than two decades ago, a masters in business administration, and had been working in consulting engineering for more than 20 years before she decided in 2010 to pursue a graduate degree in engineering.
She earned a master's degree in environmental engineering at Penn State Harrisburg and joined Gall's lab in 2013.
This research took place at the Kepler Farm plots located at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in Rock Springs, near Penn State's University Park campus.
The site consists of 12 hydrologically isolated plots which direct surface runoff from each plot downslope through PVC pipes to huts near the plots. The huts are equipped with tipping buckets that measure the surface runoff flowrate and allow researchers to collect flow-weighted samples to analyze the nutrients and contaminants in the runoff.
Researchers saw a striking difference between estrogen loads and concentrations in runoff following precipitation events, Mina pointed out. When manure was injected into the soil, estrogens were far less likely to leave the field.
"We had a rainfall event that happened two days after the manure was applied — it wasn't a big rainfall event, a typical storm that you would expect every year — and it caused a really big movement of estrogens, carbon and phosphorus from the surface-broadcast plots," she said.
"But that same event was not enough to even trigger runoff from the plots that had undergone shallow disk injection of manure,” said Mina.  “That first flush washed off really high concentrations of phosphorus and estrogens relative to the entire rest of the study, but there was nothing from the shallow disk injection plots."
On small dairy farms typical of the mid-Atlantic U.S., manure is most frequently applied in the spring and fall, but manure application may occur year round, although some states restrict or ban winter manure applications. Manure is generally applied to corn crops, although other crops also receive manure, including legumes.
Adoption of shallow-disk manure injection among farmers has been slow, Gall pointed out, and that mostly results from the high cost of new injection equipment. But the method is compatible with no-till agriculture and has the added benefit of causing less odor.
Before she can recommend all farmers transition to injecting manure, Gall intends to do more research. In a follow-on study now being planned, she wants to be sure keeping estrogens out of surface runoff doesn't result in the contaminants leaching into groundwater.
"There potentially could be some trade-offs with groundwater quality, so by doing the shallow disk injection you could be promoting more nutrient and estrogen loss into groundwater, perhaps causing localized concerns for people pulling their water from wells," Gall said. "However, at least from a surface runoff perspective, the results suggest that shallow disk injection could be a viable option for reducing both nutrient and estrogen transport to surface water bodies, such as the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program supported this work.
For more information, Dr. Gall may be contacted at 814-863-1817 or send email to:

Sept. 7 Water Company/Healthcare Coordination During Emergencies Workshop, Norristown

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Protection will host a September 7 Workshop on Water Company/Healthcare Coordination During Emergencies at DEP’s Southeast Regional Office, 2 East Main Street in Norristown, Montgomery County from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Extreme weather events and other disasters can disrupt water services and impact public health and healthcare delivery.
There can be devastating effects without proper coordination and communication between the sectors. What can be done to better prepare for such events?
This one-day workshop is designed to bring together water utility staff, public health, and healthcare personnel to discuss concerns and priorities during a disaster.
Training contact hours (TCHs) for PA drinking water operators licenses are being applied for.
Click Here for more details and to register.  For more information, please contact Chrissy Dangel of the EPA at 513-569-7821 or or Tom Noble of the Horsley Witten Group at 508-833-6600 or

Northeast PA Environmental Partners Announce 2017 Award Winners

The Northeast PA Environmental Partners Wednesday announced the winners of its 2017 awards.  The winners will be recognized at a special awards banquet on October 26 at the Woodlands Inn and Resort in Wilkes-Barre.
The keynote speaker for the event will be DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and the emcee is Don Jacobs of WNEP’s Pennsylvania Outdoor Life.
Environmental Partnership Awards
Recipients of the 27th annual Environmental Partnership Awards are—
-- Paul Bechtel, Lackawanna County, for his commitment to partnering with numerous organizations on projects to improve the environment of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Bechtel consistently goes above and beyond in his activities including the design and construction of Lackawanna Heritage Valley's Nay Aug Avenue Natural Play Area and the design and installation of a system of rain gardens at the Immaculate Heart of Mary campus.
-- Jeffrey Fleming, Lackawanna County, for his countless hours of volunteering and partnering with the D&H Rail Trail and the Countryside Conservancy Trolley Trail. Fleming has been an active committee member for both organizations and participated in numerous site cleanups, planning meetings, and student volunteer projects, he is often seen monitoring the trails for issues and is a goodwill ambassador for both trails.
-- Tom Kashatus, Luzerne County, for his partnership efforts with individuals, businesses, volunteer organizations, and public service entities. Kashatus initiated an environmental recycling program that not only keeps valuable metals from being discarded in local landfills, but turns these metals into funds which help sustain the Newport Township Community Organization so they can offer numerous programs and activities for area residents.
-- Gary Leander, Luzerne County, for his countless hours of volunteer work and partnering to sustain and expand the Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails. Leander is involved in all aspects of this trail including building and maintaining it, conducting environmental monitoring and remediation of a stream that flows along the trail, coordinating volunteer efforts and promoting and educating the community about the trail.
-- Suskie Bassmasters, Luzerne County, for their partnership efforts and dedication to improving public access and use of the Susquehanna River Watershed by promoting environmental protection and responsible use of the river, its wetlands, and wildlife resources. The Suskie Bassmasters have facilitated the installation of a 2-lane boat launch and canoe/kayak launch at Nesbitt park, installed a paved parking lot at Nesbitt Park with wetland mitigation, provided river access to disaster recovery officials during the flooding in 2011, and most recently purchased and installed solar lighting in the parking lot and boat launch area.
-- University of Scranton Sustainability Office, Lackawanna County, for their partnerships with organizations on numerous community minded projects such as Bike Scranton, a free bike share program in the City of Scranton, a food composting program, and a community garden. The community garden boasts a diverse group of partners that plant, maintain and harvest the garden. In 2016, they donated over 600 pounds of food to the on-campus Leahy Health Center.
Emerging Leader Award
The Emerging Environmental Leader Award will be presented to Benjamin Oswald, Luzerne County, for demonstrating leadership, initiation, and dedication to protecting and promoting a healthy environment.
Oswald is currently a student at the Hazleton Area Academy of the Sciences. In addition to his rigorous academic course work, and also participates in the school's ecology club and Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science.
In the ecology club, he took the initiative to plan and execute a recycling program at the school and in PJAS he has competed both at the regional and state level. He also is a member of the National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America.
Oswald is very active in the community, he serves as the Conyngham Junior Councilman in the Borough of Conyngham, is an active Boy Scout who has served various leadership positions, and has attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
Thomas P. Shelburne Leadership Award
The 23rd Annual Thomas P. Shelburne Environmental Leadership Award will be presented to Dennis DeMara, Carbon County. DeMara is being honored for his years of dedication and commitment to the environment.
For more than 40 years, DeMara has been a strong advocate in the conservation and outdoor recreation work that has made northeastern Pennsylvania a special, beautiful and scenic part of the Commonwealth.
DeMara holds a long-standing connection to the local conservation community. During his career as the County Parks Director for Carbon County, he was instrumental in bringing state-of-the-art facilitates and nationally recognized programs to the local community. ‘
DeMara had a vision for the County’s Mauch Chunk Lake Park and to achieve this vision he and his staff engaged with the PA Conservation Corp, to provide young men and women the opportunity to learn a trade while making improvements at the park.
This partnership earned the park the Top Conservation Youth Service Corp award and brought the park national recognition as the National Watershed of the Year due to the conservation and outdoor recreation projects completed.
Also, while at the County, DeMara spurred an interest and assisted in the establishment of the Carbon County Environmental Education Center and worked to create the 18-mile Switchback Gravity Railroad Trail in 1977, one of the first rail-to-trails projects in the country.
After serving as Parks Director for 24 years, DeMara continued to serve the community through his leadership as Natural Resource Supervisor with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
For more than 13 years, he served a 14-county area in northeastern Pennsylvania and quickly saw the opportunity for the numerous conservation entities serving northeast Pennsylvania to work more closely together.
He was instrumental in forming formal collaborations that, due to his leadership, resulted in the protection of more than 30,000 acres of open space and the implementation of countless community-related programs, many of which continue to this day.
These are just some of the notable successes that make DeMara a leader in the conservation community.
He continues to spark new, creative ways for conservation and environmental education to be a priority in the local community, holding true to the belief that the working together makes a community stronger.
Northeast Environmental Partners
The Northeast Environmental Partners include: Northeastern PA Alliance, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, PA Environmental Council, PPL Corporation, Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, and Wilkes University.
For more information on the awards dinner or to receive an invitation, please contact PEC at 570-718-6507.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Environmental Council website, visit the PEC Blog, follow PEC on Twitter or Like PEC on Facebook.  Visit PEC’s Audio Room for the latest podcasts.  Click Here to receive regular updates from PEC.

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