This morning, a coalition of national, state, and local partners announced one of Pennsylvania's most ambitious, collaborative, and challenging efforts to restore and protect its rivers and streams—the planting of 10 million trees by the end of 2025.
Pennsylvania continues to lag significantly behind the other Bay states in meeting their pollution-reduction commitments. Roughly 19,000 miles of the Keystone State's rivers and streams are impaired by polluted runoff and the legacy of coal mining.
Without drastic measures, Pennsylvania will fail to meet its clean water goals. By adding 10 million new trees alongside streams, streets, and other priority landscapes, CBF and its partners will accelerate the Keystone State toward its clean water commitments. In fact, this bold effort would help Pennsylvania achieve as much as two-thirds of its goal to plant roughly 95,000 acres of water-filtering forested buffers.
And we're off to a great start! By the end of this month, the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership will have planted more than 31,000 trees at more than 50 locations across the Commonwealth. These trees are critical to the health of local Pennsylvania waters as well as the health of waters downstream, including the Chesapeake Bay.
Trees are one of the most cost-effective ways to restore and protect stream health, help keep nutrients and soils on the land, and cleanse drinking water sources. And the benefits of trees extend beyond their environmental impact. They also improve public health, are an economic driver, and improve soil quality on farms.
Planting this many trees will require many hands. We encourage organizations, businesses, schools, and anyone else concerned about restoring and protecting clean water for generations to come to join us. More trees will benefit our farmers, our communities, our health, and our welfare.
The Chesapeake Bay has the potential to be the most dramatic example of environmental recovery ever seen. By every measure, the Bay is healthier than it was even five years ago. Now it is time to finish the job. The Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership is doing just that. Thank you for all that you do to help us get there.
P.S. While this ambitious effort is focused on getting Pennsylvania back on track toward its pollution-reduction goals, we will continue planting many trees along waterways in the rest of the watershed, too. You can help by signing up to volunteer with us. Let us know you're interested in helping us plant more trees!