Program Overview

The Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) is a collaborative effort between the PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds and Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.

The purpose of the Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) is to provide leadership, coordination, technical assistance, and funding support for the evaluation, conservation and protection of Pennsylvania's coldwater streams.

While Pennsylvania has over 86,000 miles of streams, only 30% are considered high-quality coldwater fisheries. Of that, fewer than 2% are designated as highly productive waters that contain naturally reproducing wild trout. The CHP's primary focus is to foster protection and improvement of these streams and their watersheds.

Goals of the program include:
  • Foster a greater public understanding of watershed characteristics and how they affect coldwater ecosystems;
  • Identify special areas of concern, such as areas with exceptional water quality with high potential for impacts;
  • Produce conservation plans that will lead to additional planning or implementation of projects that protect and enhance our coldwater ecosystems; and
  • Provide technical assistance and financial opportunities to organizations dedicated to protecting coldwater ecosystems.

CHP News

Coldwater Heritage Partnership

2018 Grant Program Now Open‚Äč

The Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) announces the opening of the 2018 Coldwater Conservation Grants Program. The program provides two grant opportunities which help to protect and conserve the health of Pennsylvania’s coldwater ecosystems.

The two grant opportunities are:

Planning Grant- designed to help develop a conservation plan that identifies the threats to the health of local coldwater ecosystems that have naturally reproducing trout as well as the opportunities for habitat restoration and conservation within those watersheds. The information and analysis can be used as a catalyst for more comprehensive planning or for development of watershed improvements projects. Planning grants average around $5,000.

Implementation Grant- designed to provide funding for projects recommended in a completed conservation plan or other approved plan such as a Rivers Conservation Plan. Proposed projects must enhance, conserve or protect the coldwater stream for which the coldwater conservation plan or similar document was originally completed. Implementation grants average around $8,000. 

Applications will be accepted through December 15, 2017. The Coldwater Heritage Partnership urges watershed associations, conservancies, conservation districts, municipalities and local chapters of Trout Unlimited to apply.

See the Grant Application and Guideline page for more details.