Pennsylvania awards coastal-zone grants

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Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell announced $1.2 million in coastal zone management grants were awarded to organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving Pennsylvania's coastal zones along Lake Erie and the Delaware Estuary.

"Pennsylvania's 120 miles of coastline generate income from recreation, tourism and commercial fishing, so they play an integral role for the economies of the northwest and southeast, not to mention the broader state economy," Rendell said in a statement.

"These grants will fund projects that will help improve and sustain that role, protect and manage coastal fisheries, encourage land-use planning and conserve our existing coastal resources," he added.

Rendell awarded the grants to 35 non-profit organizations and government agencies in counties that border Pennsylvania's coastal zones or have a direct impact on water quality in those areas.

Coastal zone management grants support programs that measure the impact of various pollution sources, improve public access and educate the public on the benefits of the state's coastal zones.

Coastal zones and adjacent shore land face increasing pressure from development, erosion, biodiversity losses and pollution. Pennsylvania has two coastal areas: 57 miles of coastline along the Delaware Estuary and 63 miles of coastline along Lake Erie.

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