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Dear Partners, 

Hello 2021! I can feel the buzz of busy schedules, New Year’s resolutions, and increased hope for health and connection with family, friends, and colleagues – even if it’s still through Zoom in most cases. While sometimes frustrated by limitations in 2020, I celebrate the creative ways my family safely explored and supported the Lancaster community. Who would’ve thought a pandemic would introduce me to new volunteer options?! Moving ahead and navigating the new year, it’s important to look back at all we’ve accomplished together in 2020 – and reflect on how it brought us to this critical crescendo in Lancaster’s clean water work.

In 2020, the Partners dedicated itself to working smarter, more collaboratively, and more strategically than ever before. We expanded our horsepower, consistently communicated with our partner organizations and stakeholders, educated new watershed leaders, collaboratively worked to secure sustainable funding, and granted implementation dollars to get projects in the ground. Read through our Year in Review for the full picture of our accomplishments in 2020. 

Looking ahead to 2021, we aim to: 

  • Accelerate Countywide Action Plan (CAP) implementation  
  • Identify and secure sustainable, dedicated funding for both agriculture and stormwater BMP implementation and the necessary capacity to do and maintain that work 
  • Mobilize watershed-scale project collaborations for increased sediment and nutrient reductions 
  • Expand the backbone organization to ensure partner organizations’ capacity to ramp up countywide efforts
  • Implement an effective, equitable communications plan to ensure knowledge sharing among key stakeholders, and to educate and empower partner organizations and all county residents to take action

A poet’s powerful words recently inspired our nation, and she has inspired me. Leadership can be a challenging yet rewarding place to be. We are all leaders in Lancaster, inspiring change and forging ahead in our work for clean water, which is a right our entire community deserves. May we continue to be brave, to reach out to each other, and operate with the bias towards action that will move the needle towards clean and clear water.  


Lancaster’s Clean Water Fund grant dollars available in 2021.
Details coming soon!

Uniquely Sharing Lancaster’s Voice

Sparked by the delisting strategy, the CAP, and work from our Action Teams, the Partners were given the opportunity to share Lancaster’s unique work for clean water through several presentations recently. The Partners presented to the Chesapeake Bay CommissionState Watershed Implementation Plan Team, EPA, Lancaster County's Ag Council, and CAP Coordinators across the tier-one and two counties. Thank you for letting us amplify the collective voice for Lancaster’s clean water efforts!

If your organization has presentations coming up where you can include clean water success stories, reach out to Emily Smedley and we'll connect you to resources.

Photo by Will Parson, Chesapeake Bay Program

Never Too Late: Starting an environmental career at 58 

After 30 years of teaching music in public and private schools and churches, Marcy decided it was time to forge a new path. She wanted to pursue a career in environmental work so she could work outside and help improve the environment. But she worried she wouldn’t have much to offer without a science degree. Nevertheless, her love for native plants, botany, and the natural sciences pushed her forward. 

Read about her journey and how the Lancaster Watershed Leadership Academy helped her find her way!

Read More

Words from Mike Peachey

“During my time on the Lancaster Clean Water Partners Steering Committee, the most compelling aspect of the Partners was seeing clean water elevated to a broader Lancaster community priority that cuts across business, municipal, economic development, environmental, and agricultural sectors in a way that does not point fingers, but instead seeks to address the challenge in a collaborative manner. It is this collaborative spirit that has always made Lancaster County distinctive and has enabled community leaders to tackle the challenges before us to make Lancaster the community of choice for so many."

Thank you to Mike Peachey as he steps away from his role on the Partners’ Steering Committee! 

Learn More

Conowingo WIP Comments Focus on Solutions and Collaboration

To help develop a coordinated strategy, the Partners submitted several comments on the Conowingo Watershed Implementation Plan (CWIP). These comments focused on the need to work together and not compete for sources of nitrogen reductions and funding for implementation efforts. We specifically outlined ways to collaborate in dam removal practice and policy with appropriate restoration.

Photo by Will Parson, Chesapeake Bay Program


Learn More

MS4 Lunch & Learns for 2021 Progress

Inspired by the MS4orum, the Stormwater Action Team and the Lancaster County Clean Water Consortium are excited to provide more resources and new ideas virtually this February through April on select Thursdays at 12. Topics range from the CAP funding application process, permitting, perspectives from property owners on stormwater BMP installment, and drainage system products. 

Registration is required to attend. Recordings and presentation materials will be available to all who register. Professional development hours can be claimed from attending.

Photo by Will Parson, Chesapeake Bay Program


Register Now


Job Opening: Restoration Project Advisor 
Chesapeake Conservancy is hiring a new Restoration Project Advisor to assist on-the-ground partners in Central PA in moving restoration projects forward by filling gaps in project administration.

PA NRCS Invites Proposals for 2021 Conservation Innovation Grants
Proposals are due by March 15, 2021
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Pennsylvania is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. It is anticipated that a total of up to $225,000 will be available to fund multiple one- to three-year projects. Single projects may be eligible to receive $5,000 to $75,000 in funding. 

2021 All-Bay Agriculture Network Forum
Multiple events between February 3 to March 3 
The forum hosted by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation brings together NGO, local, state, and federal ag conservation leaders and partners to share best practices, network together, discuss collaborative implementation strategies and opportunities for acceleration and scaling up nutrient and sediment load reductions.

An Imperative Task at Hand: Building Inclusive Organizational Culture
March 24 at 2:00 p.m.
An organization’s culture plays a huge role in shifting the needle toward diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments. An inclusive, positive workplace culture hears and promotes all voices and creates a sense of belonging, allowing employees to thrive. 

WeConservePA Conference
March 24–25 (Early bird registration until February 24)
Formerly known as the Pennsylvania Land Conservation Conference, the WeConservePA Conference is Pennsylvania’s premier networking, training, and inspirational event for staff and volunteers of conservation groups. Registration includes access to over 25 hours of programming across 1.5 days.

Toss Your Hat in the Ring, PennState Extension
Multiple times offered 
Have you ever thought about serving on your school board, borough council or township board? Here's your chance to learn how to do it. Penn State Extension is offering Toss Your Hat in the Ring, which will include an overview of Pennsylvania local government and the responsibilities of township supervisors, borough council members, and school board directors. 

2021 Octoraro Watershed Association Photography Contest 
Get your cameras out! The Octoraro Watershed Association invites you to participate in its photo contest. The contest is open to photographers of all ages, but all photographers submitted must be taken within the Octoraro watershed. Contact Chotty Sprenkle or 610-593-2808 for more details.

In the News  

Lack of funding not Lancaster County farmers to blame for Chesapeake Bay pollution: foundation, LNP/LancasterOnline

Restoring Native Tree Canopy to the City of Lancaster’s Culliton Park, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Accelerating Farmer Outreach and Conservation Practice Adoption in the Chiques, Conoy and Conewago Creek Watersheds, PennState Extension

2020 Growing Greener Grants Announced, Department of Environmental Protection 

Disability, Access, and the Outdoors, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay 

Military veterans install more than 500 plants in Lancaster County Conservation project, LNP/LancasterOnline

Our mailing address is:
Lancaster Clean Water Partners
1383 Arcadia Road
Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17601

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