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Lycoming Biology Field Station awarded $325,089 for Loyalsock Creek restoration

Lycoming Biology Field Station awarded $325,089 for Loyalsock Creek restoration

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The Lycoming Biology Field Station, Inc. (LBFS, Inc.), a non-profit corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Lycoming College, today announced it won a Commonwealth Financial Authority (CFA) grant totaling $325,089 for the restoration of the Loyalsock Creek area adjacent to the field station. Flooding issues at the LBFS have grown more severe in recent years, and the grant will enable Lycoming College biology students to proactively implement conservation and best management practices that reduce flooding issues on the property, as well as those properties of surrounding landowners.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages.

The flood mitigation efforts will be installed in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Lycoming County Conservation District in two phases: Phase 1 will see excavation of the channel and construction of a bankfull bench (a sloped area to slow high velocity water flows), as well as the installation of channel blocks, log wall sills, and hybrid log vanes. Phase 2 will involve the installation of log vanes on the floodway channel, installation of log cribbing to protect residential properties, and the installation of a log cross vane in the floodway channel. The improvements are designed to reduce the frequent and costly flood damage to residential properties in the area.

“Our role in the community action plan is to stabilize this section of the stream. This effort will help mitigate flooding for neighboring landowners and reduce sediment loads that negatively impact the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” said Mel Zimmerman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biology and director of the Clean Water Institute. “Lycoming students with opportunities to work on the project through practicums and internships will gain experience working with local and federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Lycoming County Conservation District, and will gain experience in monitoring water quality, collecting data and presenting their findings. They will also benefit from seeing how their work contributes to the bigger picture — how one stream in Lycoming County plays a critical role in the global water cycle.”

“The Commonwealth’s investment in the Lycoming Biology Field Station’s flood mitigation project will do much to reverse the environmental damage caused by flooding of the Loyalsock Creek. In addition, this project will benefit local landowners whose properties have been lost or damaged due to flooding and provide Lycoming College students with the opportunity to study the effects of climate change. We are very grateful to the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Commonwealth Financing Authority, and our area legislators for their confidence in the Lycoming Biology Field Station’s capacity to execute this project,” said Lycoming College President Kent Trachte.

The LBFS is used by Lycoming College’s biology department for courses in aquatic biology, ecology, plant science, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, and environmental biology. Students gain hands-on experience in the field to complete student research and practicum projects. LBFS also serves as a base camp for Lycoming College’s Outdoor Leadership and Education program, and has been used as a field lab by the department of archaeology and the department of education.