Hoffman’s Mill Dam in Chadds Ford, PA. Photo credit: Brandywine Conservancy

The Brandywine Conservancy announced that it has received more than $400,000 in grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). As part of NFWF’s Delaware River Restoration Fund (DRRF), made possible by the William Penn Foundation, the Brandywine received $289,845 for projects to improve water quality in the Brandywine-Christina Watershed. An additional $151,723 was also granted through NFWF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF) for the removal of Hoffman’s Mill Dam in Chadds Ford, PA.

“NFWF is pleased to award these two grants to support the important work of the Brandywine Conservancy,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “By working closely with farmers, landowners and local municipalities, the Conservancy will improve water quality and re-connect stream habitat and will create a healthier and more resilient Brandywine-Christina watershed for fish, wildlife and people.”

The funds received through NFWF’s DRRF grant will allow the Brandywine to continue its water quality improvement projects throughout the watershed by implementing agricultural best management practices (BMPs), green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), and innovative new BMPs that integrate biochar for accelerated water quality improvement within the Brandywine Creek, White and Red Clay Creeks, and Plum Run watersheds of Chester County, PA.

The DRRF funds will build on the Brandywine Conservancy’s ongoing successful projects as part of the William Penn Foundation’s Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI). Tasked with leading one of the eight targeted areas identified by the DRWI as priority zones—where interventions could significantly safeguard or improve clean water— the Brandywine is one of six non-profit partner organizations working together to protect, improve and restore water quality in the Brandywine-Christina Watershed.

“The Brandywine Conservancy does invaluable work here in our community,” said U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA). “That’s why my office was eager to write letters of support on their behalf for two competitive federal grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, totaling $441,568.08. We were overjoyed to learn our efforts helped secure this funding! Protecting our precious natural resources is a bipartisan effort and benefits every member of our community. These grants will enhance our waterways and ecosystems for generations to come, and I look forward to seeing the progress made with this funding.”

Through NFWF’s DWCF grant, the Brandywine Conservancy will also be able to remove the remnants of Hoffman’s Mill Dam in Chadds Ford, PA. The removal of this breached dam on Brandywine Creek will improve aquatic habitat and improve water-based recreation along the planned Brandywine Creek Water Trail.

“The work Brandywine Conservancy continues to do in Delaware and Pennsylvania to protect our region, improve our water quality, and restore wildlife habitats is imperative,” added U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE). “Our environment has seen the dramatic and unfortunate impacts of climate change recently, which is why I was glad to join the Brandywine Conservancy in announcing two grants that will remove the Hoffman’s Dam and support additional investments in our watershed’s working lands. With this federal funding, we are making strides toward sustaining and improving our environment.”

“We are extremely grateful for NFWF’s continued support of the Brandywine Conservancy, as well as the support in our mutual efforts to protect the environment from our elected officials, including U.S. Senators Chris Coons and Pat Toomey, U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan, Pennsylvania State Senators Carolyn Comitta and Katie Muth, and Pennsylvania State Representatives Dianne Herrin and Christina Sappey,” noted Ellen Ferretti, director of the Brandywine Conservancy. “These funds will enable us to expand the vital work being done to improve water quality along the Brandywine-Christina Watershed and will finally enable the removal of Hoffman’s Mill Dam in Chadds Ford.”