Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Nine Mile Run

Rachel Filippini of GASP issued an alert that warns of a threat to the progress of the Nine Mile Run stream restoration.



Federal funding, expected $1.6 million, seems to be $330,000. Meadville Land Services must pull all their workers and equipment out of the work site in a matter of weeks.

Although they are doing their best to leave the site as stable as possible by seeding the area with native plants, they are still a long way from finishing the restoration. The Army Corps of Engineers, who are supervising the implementation of the project, are expecting that funding will be cut next year as well, seriously jeopardizing the completion of the restoration.

If the restoration is left incomplete our stream will continue to suffer from serious stream bank erosion and degraded habitat for fish and other wildlife, and will remain inhospitable for human recreation.

Human recreation has not happened at the RECREATION CENTERS as well. Jeepers, for $300,000 plenty of the centers could re-open.
Even if the restoration proceeds, but at a much slower rate due to continued funding shortfalls, the stream and park may in fact be in worse condition — sediment will enter the stream during multiple summers of construction, invasive species will colonize the banks in between construction seasons, and park access will be limited. Not to mention the additional unnecessary cost of remobilizing construction crews each summer, reducing the amount of money available for direct restoration work.

of the initiative.

GASP asked citizens to say that the completion of the stream restoration project is essential! Is it really?

Urge them to ensure that full funding for the project will actually be reinstated in the next fiscal year!
Perhaps the home-owner association at Nine Mile Run can fund the rest of the project.

Total cost of the Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project is $7.7 million. The $2.7 million local match was met by the City of Pittsburgh more than two years ago. See that money go, how does one say, down the drain. Of the remaining $5 million expected from the federal government, $3.4 million is still needed to finish the work.

Marijke Hecht, Executive Director, Nine Mile Run Watershed Association at 412-371-8779 or marijke@ninemilerun.org

PG news snip

Marijke Hecht, 33, of Wilkinsburg, the executive director of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, asked Onorato to push for more funding to complete the "re-streaming" of Nine Mile Run by creating an open stream that replaces the pipe the waterway was forced through years ago. Onorato said the city and county are working together to garner more state funding to fill the $3 million gap in federal funding cut from the Army Corps of Engineers budget.

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