Highlands Conservation Act event at Cooks Creek Watershed with Congressman Patrick Murphy

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Rep. Patrick Murphy Announces Federal Funding for Cooks Creek Conservation Project
Funding Will Preserve Open Space, Bolster Conservation Efforts for Local Watershed

(Springfield Township, PA) – Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) joined environmental leaders and local elected officials to announce $700,000 in federal funding for the Cooks Creek Watershed conservation project in the Highlands region of Upper Bucks County.

This funding, secured by Congressman Murphy, will help support conservation and land acquisition efforts to ensure that watersheds, forests, farmland and trails in the Pennsylvania Highlands are preserved for generations to come, including keeping drinking water clean and safe for over 15 million people. The Highlands Conservation Act, passed in 2004, recognizes the Highlands as “nationally significant” and authorizes $110 million over 10 years toward lands conservation in the region.

“Protecting areas like the Cooks Creek Watershed preserves our natural resources and improves the quality of life for our families,” said Rep. Murphy. “By being good stewards of this landscape, we ensure that our children and grandchildren will enjoy these resources for years to come.”

“The Appalachian Mountain Club applauds Congressman Murphy's leadership in securing Highlands Conservation Act funding to help protect this watershed for the millions of residents who benefit from it," said Kristen Sykes, Mid-Atlantic Project Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club. "Our staff and members are strong advocates for the preservation of natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities in the Pennsylvania Highlands, and federal, state and local funding is essential to the Cooks Creek Watershed conservation project.”

The 1999 Bucks County Natural Areas Inventory rates the Highlands area Priority 1, and Heritage Conservancy includes Cooks Creek Watershed as part of its Lasting Landscapes Program. The Highlands region is 3.5 million acres of forest, farmland, and rugged hills extending from south-central PA, through NJ and NY into northwestern CT. These eastern-most ridges of the Appalachian Mountains form a greenbelt for the Philadelphia-New York City-Hartford metropolitan area. The Highlands are home to more than 250 endangered, threatened, and rare species. The Pennsylvania Highlands are 1.9 million acres extending 13 counties from Northampton to Adams.

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For Immediate Release, August 26, 2009
Contact: Kate Hansen, (202) 225-4276