Senator-elect Cris Dush (R-25) announced the approval of grant funding for the Toby Creek Blue Valley AMD Treatment and Fish Culture Station today.
Funding was approved by the PA Department of Environmental Protection in the amount of $251,400 under its Growing Greener Plus Program. The project was supported by former Senator Joe Scarnati and the Elk County Commissioners and was spearheaded by Bill Sabatose of the Toby Creek Watershed Association of Elk and Jefferson County.
The $297,960 project will continue the operation of the facility, which has used treated abandoned mine drainage to raise over 20,000 trout over the last 13 years. These trout have been stocked in local streams.
The facility treats this acid drainage and discharges the treated water into a pond and artificial wetland to finish treatment prior to its discharge back into the Toby Creek watershed.
The L. Eugene “Snuffy” Smith Fish Culture Station is the only fish hatchery of its kind in the country. Snuffy Smith, along with Porter Duval and Bill Sabatose, was instrumental in addressing acid mine drainage issues and industrial chemicals that were polluting the Toby Creek Watershed.
In announcing this grant approval, Senator-elect Dush noted that “The environmental benefits to Toby Creek watershed and this facility’s support of regional fisheries and recreation, have had a significant positive economic impact on tourism in Elk County. Their support of our local veterans through an annual fishing event at the site is something regional vets look forward to as well. I am pleased to see that this facility will continue to operate and benefit Toby Creek and the region.”