Proctor, Pa. – A two-year environmental project along Plunketts Creek is now recognized for its lasting environmental impact in the state.
The Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Game Commission contributed to the Plunketts Creek project in Proctor.
The award received, the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, evaluates projects related to environmental protection, innovation, partnership, economic impact, climate change responsiveness, sustainability and environmental justice, and results achieved. The Creek Project received the 2022 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence along with 14 other projects from across the state in Harrisburg.
Speaking at the event, DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said: “It’s always a privilege to shine the spotlight on people who are doing everything they can to improve the environment and make our amazing outdoor spaces more accessible. Each of the projects recognized this year will leave a positive and lasting legacy for Pennsylvania.”
The lasting legacy of this project will be less flooding, more ecological functioning and better water quality. Plunketts Creek is a quality cold water fishery with naturally breeding trout.
The creek is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The water in Plunketts connects to Loyalsock Creek, the West Branch Susquehanna River, then the Susquehanna River, and finally the Bay.
In Phase 1 of the project in 2020, NPC and PGC stabilized the eroded riverbanks on an 850-foot section of Plunketts Creek using log and rock structures designed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
The eroding creek banks added sediment to the creek and covered the substrate at the bottom. The sediment source was eliminated by immediately stabilizing the creek banks. Over time, the sediment at the bottom of the creek is flushed out of the system.
In 2021, in Phase 2, partners removed 2,200 linear feet of earthwork along Plunketts Creek and restored the creek’s access to the floodplain, reducing adjacent floodplain heights and the erosive potential of the creek.
Of particular note to the project was the contribution of the US Army Reserves 333rd Engineering Company, based in Reading, PA, which completed the project as their summer 2021 training exercise. Soldiers were able to complete three weeks of training while bringing environmental benefits to the community.
The project was only possible through the cooperation of several partners. One of the most important partners was the 1st Platoon of the 333rd Engineering Company of the US Army Reserves. The reservists used the project as their 2021 summer training project. Their support was possible because of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training program.
The partners who worked with the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to make the project possible were:
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Lycoming County Conservation District
333rd Engineering Company of the United States Army Reserve
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
PA Council of Trout Unlimited
Coldwater Heritage Program
Loyalsock Creek Gentlemen’s Club
Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association
American Legion Post 104 (Montoursville, PA)