Rep. Bizzarro announces $335K grant to improve water quality

State, federal money to invest in local improvements

ERIE, Jan. 12 – The city of Erie has been approved to invest $335,000 in state and federal funds for improvements to address water quality and increase the region’s resiliency against storms, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro announced Thursday afternoon. 

“Through my work as chairman on the Policy Committee, I have heard from experts, advocates and lawmakers about our state’s increasing issues with flooding, stormwater management and water quality,” Bizzarro said. “This grant helps address some of those problems here at home, providing the money needed to make necessary changes to protect homes, resources, property and businesses.”

The grant will provide the funding needed for a multifaceted approach in Erie. The grant will fund the creation of 2 acres of multifunctional riparian barriers better suited to limit erosion and flood damage and 3 acres of meadows – including trees. The planting of trees is one of the most cost-effective measures to improve water quality, and it will take place along waterways in the Lake Erie Watershed. The $335,000 will also fund diverse projects to address a lack of green space and canopy cover in the area, as well as fund landowner outreach and a written summary report.

The grant for the city of Erie was one of 20 approved throughout Pennsylvania by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by using American Rescue Plan Act funds appropriated to the
Keystone Tree Fund and TreeVitalize through the 2022-23 budget, which Bizzarro voted for in July. The grant was administered through DCNR by its Community Conservation Partnerships Program.

Bizzarro’s office has helped secure more than $740,000 in grant funding for local projects just this month.

During the most recent legislative session, his office completed casework for individuals in 64 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and helped secure about $50 million in state money for nonprofits, small businesses, schools and industry in 2022. Residents can find his most up-to-date Grant & Resource Directory on his website or by reaching out to his offices in Erie or Harrisburg.