(HARRISBURG, PA)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) in Pennsylvania has received the prestigious Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for helping landowners plant thousands of trees, reduce pollution of rivers and streams, and improve water quality in the Commonwealth.
CBF was recognized at the Environmental Excellence celebration in Harrisburg for its efforts to plant forested buffers in the Commonwealth. John Quigley, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Cindy Dunn, secretary of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources spoke at the event. Winners were selected by DEP.
"Protecting and restoring the roughly 86,000 miles of rivers and streams in Pennsylvania requires commitment," said Harry Campbell, executive director of CBF in Pennsylvania. "Since 1997, our restoration staff has worked with thousands of landowners on clean water. To be recognized for our efforts is a great honor."
According to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), host of the event, "the Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence are the highest statewide honor bestowed to businesses and organizations involved in a cross-section of environmental initiatives from cleaning up watersheds, saving energy, eliminating pollution, reducing waste, and more."
The Environmental Excellence Award recognized CBF for using Arbor Day Foundation trees and supplies funded by partners, including DEP, Growing Greener grant, and Mellon Foundation.
PEC commended CBF's pollution reduction efforts and for providing, "tens of thousands of trees to landowners to foster the creation of riparian buffers, which will improve the water quality of the Susquehanna Watershed."
In 2015, CBF gave away 12,280 trees to 148 landowners in 14 counties in Pennsylvania.
"Planting streamside forests is one of the easiest and most cost-effective clean water practices known," Campbell continued. "They provide flood control, cool water for brook trout, wildlife habitat, and even improve the air we breathe."
Trees absorb and filter agricultural and urban/suburban runoff of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment, before it reaches Pennsylvania waterways.
CBF was one of 17 organizations and 14 projects from across the Keystone State to receive Environmental Excellence awards.
Later this month, CBF in Pennsylvania will again be recognized for its efforts to plant buffers, when it receives the Good Steward Award from the Arbor Day Foundation's 2016 National Awards Competition.