The Bay Journal spotlights a state-run program that maintains gravel and dirt roads as a way of keeping pollution out of local streams.
Worried about the deteriorating quality of Pennsylvania's streams, it didn't take long for Trout Unlimited to mobilize volunteers to drive thousands of miles around the state to identify sites affected by pollution and excessive water coming from Pennsylvania's dirt and gravel roads. At each location -- primarily drinking water reservoirs, high quality and exceptional-value coldwater fisheries and other priority watersheds -- volunteers conducted surveys based on specific criteria. The effort, which stretched over the summers of 1996-98, resulted in the identification and assessment of more than 900 sites statewide.
What began as a volunteer-driven Trout Unlimited initiative gained steam and support, culminating in 1997 when Pennsylvania enacted into law the Dirt and Gravel Road Maintenance Program. Administered by the State Conservation Commission, the program funds local projects that reduce stream pollution caused by runoff and sediment from the state's more than 20,000 miles of unpaved public roads.
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