The local community is invited to learn more about the Marsh Creek Watershed and plans to restore and protect it at a free public event in Centre County, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, June 8.
“Envision Marsh Creek” will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bald Eagle State Park Environmental Learning Center, 149 Main Park Road, Howard, PA.
In addition to details about plans coming together to improve streams within the 44 square-mile watershed, there will be group discussions, questions and answers, free native plant seeds and fishing kits while supplies last, and refreshments. The public will also meet and hear from the Marsh Creek Conservation Partners behind the project.
A watershed-wide restoration and protection plan for the 88 miles of Little Marsh and Marsh Creeks is being coordinated with public and partner input with collaboration by Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Watershed Coordinator Caitlin Glagola.
The goal is to improve the health of the creeks. Some segments do not meet water quality standards because of excess sediment. Although the presence of sediment in streams is natural, excess sediment entering waterways from human disturbance can degrade habitat and food sources for aquatic life.
Glagola also coordinated with a group of partners to develop a restoration plan for the Halfmoon Creek Watershed that became eligible for federal funding after being approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Environmental Protection Agency.
“In Marsh Creek we are finding that fishing is a literal hook for recreation, so the community is interested in work centering around building and enhancing aquatic habitat,” Glagola said.
Glagola added that community conversations are key to success at Marsh Creek. “We want to make sure that whatever we put into the plan is something that the community is behind, that they support and agree with,” she said. “Science can tell you one way to do it, but blending science with local knowledge and values are what is going to be successful.”
The entrance to the Environmental Learning Center is located near the lower parking lot accessible from Marina Road. After entering the park, proceed to the first intersection and make a right turn onto Marina Road and then take the first right turn into the parking lot.
Partners to be at the event on June 8 include CBF, Centre County Conservation District, Trout Unlimited, Penn State Extension, U.S. Youth Fly Fishing Team, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, Bald Eagle Paddlers, Chesapeake Conservancy, and Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc.
For more information about the event, go to cbf.org/marshcreek.