Lehigh river
watershed fund

In 2019, the Lehigh River Watershed Fund was established to support all manner of conservation, education, and outdoor recreation pursuits for the benefit of the Carbon County region.

What we fund

The Lehigh River Watershed Fund was established to support the efforts of nonprofit organizations, charitable programs and projects, with priorities that include:  

Education

Education to encourage a greater understanding of natural resources 

Ecological Restoration

Ecological restoration and maintenance projects for wildlife and human populations

Land Protection

Purchase or protect by other means land that is of high conservation value 

Remediation

Remediation projects to enhance water quality 

Access

Trail and access point improvements 

Collaboration

Projects should demonstrate their relevance within the context of community, municipal, regional, or other agency plans and illustrate engagement/support of the appropriate partners within the community

Outfitter Support

The four outdoor adventure rafting companies operating in the Lehigh Gorge have pledged their support and advice. We gratefully acknowledge the support of:

Why do we need the Fund?

In no particular order, the following are a sampling of the recommendations made in the 2018 Lehigh River Watershed Conservation Management Plan completed by Wildlands Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources:   

Waterway Restoration

Recommendations:

  • Promote the benefits of dam removal and remove obsolete dams
  • Restore migratory fish passage from the Delaware to the Lehigh River
  • Promote the benefits of riparian buffers and incentivize municipalities to restore and protect their buffers
  • Build a treatment system at Quakake Tunnel to mitigate the impact of mine drainage
  • Install prescribed enhancements to Buck Mountain 2 and Lausanne Tunnel systems

Land Protection

Recommendations:

  • Protect the highest priority properties and establish more land trust preserves throughout the watershed
  • Secure remaining private properties along the Kittatinny Ridge
  • Promote collaborative projects that expand state parks, forests, and game lands
  • Promote economic benefits of smart growth and open space
  • Fund initiatives that promote sound stewardship on conservation easements

Habitat Restoration

Recommendations:

  • Educate the public about the state of and threats to our forests
  • Pursue land preservation projects that protect grassland habitats and encourage conversion from lawns to meadows
  • Expand programs that provide stewardship assistance to private landowners
  • Work with municipalities to foster habitat restoration and protection
  • Work with businesses to naturalize their landscaping and parking

Outdoor Recreation

Recommendations:

  • Expand and facilitate access to the Lehigh River Water Trail
  • Grow programs that promote the health benefits of getting outdoors
  • Promote link between environmental restoration and the growth of the outdoor economy
  • Educate the angling community about opportunities to improve fishing in the Lehigh basin
  • Build trails/greenways that function as wildlife corridors too 

Let’s protect and preserve our natural resources

A gift to the Lehigh River Watershed Fund will serve the Carbon County region for generations to come.

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