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OSI Grant Supports Protection of Northern Poconos Properties for Drinking Water, Trout Fishing

MEDIA, PA (Feb. 8, 2019) – Thanks to a grant from the Open Space Institute (OSI), Natural Lands and Pocono Heritage Land Trust (PHLT) announced today the preservation of land that will safeguard both regional drinking water and a celebrated trout-fishing stream.

The two properties, totaling 340 acres, are located by Broadhead Creek in the northern Pocono Mountains and will be permanently protected through a conservation easement. The projects were supported with grants of approximately $14,500 and $99,000 from OSI’s Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund, which seeks to protect water quality in the Delaware River Basin. 

The Delaware River is the source of drinking water for 15 million people, including residents of Philadelphia, Trenton, Wilmington, New York City, and many local communities. 

“The protection of these lands is a milestone for the Delaware River, and for the residents who rely on the unspoiled forests of the Delaware to filter the water for recreation and for drinking,” said Peter Howell, OSI’s executive vice president. “We applaud the conservation ethic of the landowners, and the teamwork of Natural Lands and Pocono Heritage Land Trust that brought these projects to fruition.”

The Bartolacci property is bordered on one side by Stony Run, a tributary of Broadhead Creek.
The Bartolacci property is bordered on one side by Stony Run, a tributary of Broadhead Creek.
Photo Credit: Natural Lands and Pocono Heritage Land Trust

Through the Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund, OSI has invested $5.7 million in grant funds to facilitate and support the protection of over 20,000 acres.

The 40-acre Bartolocci property is bordered on one side by Stony Run, a tributary of Broadhead Creek. Both waterways are designated as “High Quality-Cold Water Fishes” by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and represent some of the state’s best wild trout waters.

The nearby 300-acre Ferenbach property, owned by a family-held LLC, is a densely wooded tract that includes 3,500 feet of Brodhead Creek.

Named for Englishman Daniel Brodhead, who in 1737 purchased 600 acres of streamside land, the Brodhead Creek originates in Monroe County, PA, one of the birthplaces of trout fishing in America. It flows for 22 miles until it empties into the Delaware River. By the mid-1800s, the Brodhead and surrounding streams had developed a loyal following of visiting anglers.

Nineteenth-century demand for tanned leather, turpentine, and timber led to a dramatic increase in logging operations. The banks of the Brodhead were stripped of trees, which had shaded the water and reduced erosion. By the turn of the 20th century, as the Brodhead became too warm and silty for wild brown trout, fly fishermen traveled farther north to the cold, clear streams of the Catskill Mountains.

OSI’s Delaware River Watershed Fund is made possible with support from the William Penn Foundation through its Delaware River Watershed Initiative.

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