Merski, Harkins: $400,000 awarded for Erie watershed restoration projects

ERIE, Sept. 20 – Two Erie watershed restoration projects are receiving $400,000 in funding from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said two grants of $200,000 each to the city of Erie will fund projects to restore Garrison Run and Cemetery Run streams, both designated as impaired by the state Department of Environmental Protection because of excessive sediment pollution.

“Pollution in tributaries that empty into Presque Isle Bay can have broad consequences beyond the immediate stream banks, and Garrison Run is a stream with a long history of sediment pollution,” Merski said. “Reducing the sediment load is critical to improving water quality, protecting the health of delicate ecosystems and curbing the pollutants that flow through to the bay and lake.

“The new grant will help the city achieve those goals by funding restoration work on approximately 1,200 linear feet of Garrison Run on the fenced property of the Erie Wastewater Treatment Plant along Port Access Road.”

Harkins said a second grant will help the city address sediment pollution in Cemetery Run Stream. 

“So much of our region’s health depends on the health of our watershed,” Harkins said. “Improving water quality in our streams and tributaries means less impact to the shoreline, safer recreation and fishing for residents and visitors, and healthier business and tourism for our economy. The funding to restore Garrison Run and Cemetery Run streams is an investment in all of these things.”

Harkins said the Cemetery Run watershed restoration project will involve restoration work on approximately 1,200 linear feet of Cemetery Run along the west side of Cranch Road between the roadway and Lakeside Cemetery.

Each project has a total cost of just below $580,000 and includes committed funding of nearly $280,000 from the city.

The funding comes from the Watershed Restoration and Protection Program. More about the program is available here: