Rivers Conservation Program


Rivers Conservation Projects

To conserve and enhance river resources through preparation and accomplishment of locally initiated plans.


What is the Pennsylvania Rivers Conservation Program?

The Pa. Rivers Conservation Program has been developed to conserve and enhance river resources through preparation and accomplishment of locally initiated plans. The program provides technical and financial assistance to municipalities and river support groups to carry out planning, implementation, acquisition and development activities. A registry is established to recognize local river conservation efforts. Six components are used to carry out these functions.

Program components:

  • Planning Grants: The purpose for these grants is to develop a Rivers Conservation Plan identifying significant natural, recreational and cultural resources. Issues, concerns and threats to river resources and values are determined locally as part of planning, as well as recommending methods to conserve, enhance and restore Pennsylvania's many streams and rivers.
  • Technical Assistance: The component is designed to provide support to those communities and river support groups who undertake studies and projects and request assistance. Assistance in the form of a clearinghouse for technical and resource information will be available to all engaged in river conservation activities.
  • Rivers Registry: The registry is to promote river conservation and recognize rivers or river segments in communities who have completed river conservation plans. The registry is also an avenue to endorse local initiatives by binding them together in a statewide recognition program. In order for a river to be placed on the registry, it must have an approved plan and local municipal support. Registry status must be achieved to qualify for implementation, development or acquisition grants.
  • Implementation Grants: The purpose for these grants is to assist in carrying out specific resource studies that were identified in the Rivers Conservation Plan. Typical types of these studies are: water quality monitoring, river use and access, riparian buffer status, water trail feasibility studies, Greenways Studies, etc.
  • Development Grants: The purpose for these grants is to assist in carrying out the construction of projects recommended in the Rivers Conservation Plan. Project proposals can be for single or multiple year installation periods and can include trails, river access points, playgrounds and parks, stream bank fencing etc.
  • Acquisition Grants: The purpose for these grants is to assist municipalities and local organizations with the purchase of lands in fee title or easements for conservation or recreational purposes.


Where does funding for the program come from?

The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund Act of 1993;A component of the Community Conservation Partnership Program, administered by the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

Any municipality and appropriate organization (river support groups having 501 (c)(3)) are eligible to apply for grants. Such groups must be established under Pennsylvania law, authorized to do business in the Commonwealth with and Registered with the commonwealth’s Bureau of charitable organizations. River conservation must be one of the group's primary purposes.

How much money may be requested?

A lower limit of $2,500 has been established as a minimum; however, the upper limit of a grant depends upon the size of the project area and the complexity of the effort.

Are matching funds required for grants?

Yes, funds provided by DCNR may not exceed 50 percent of the approved project cost. The local share can be provided either through direct payment (cash) or in-kind services.

What is the application process?

The opening of the Community Conservation Partnership Program grant application period is advertised in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The application period is approximately 3 months long, usually opening around January of each Year.