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UAJA Starts Wetlands Improvement Project

by on August 27, 2014 5:45 AM

Heavy construction equipment has been digging up a field along East Branch Road -- but it's not the site of a new fast food restaurant.

The work, overseen by the University Area Joint Authority, is part of a wetlands project that's designed to improve wildlife habitat.

Cory Miller, executive director of UAJA, says the work is the continuation of a project that has been going on since 2000 in which treated wastewater is piped into the community for environmental enhancement.

The project at Kissinger Meadow on East Branch Road (not far from South Atherton Street) is a wetland construction and stream augmentation designed to replenish the water flow in Slab Cabin Run during dry time periods.

The project will expand wetlands at the seven acre site and create two springs that will flow into Slab Cabin Run.

"It will increase the flow in slab cabin run to the point where it should help with the aquatic life in the stream," says Miller. "It should make it easier for the fish and the other critters that live in there to survive dry conditions."

Miller says the system can be turned on and off as needed, so during extremely wet periods of times, like flash floods, it will not exacerbate the issue.

"The idea is to regulate it so that it stays wet all of the time," Miller says.

The $400,000 project is funded in part by a $25,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The rest of the cost will be covered by UAJA rate payers. College township contributed the lands.

Ultimately, UAJA will work with College Township to turn the site into a park.

UAJA is a municipal authority that provides wastewater treatment to most of State College and the Centre County region.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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