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

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.



The Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) provides two grant opportunities which help to protect and conserve the health of Pennsylvania’s cold-water ecosystems.

The two 18-month grant opportunities are:

Planning Grants – 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 improvement projects. The maximum amount awarded for a planning grant is $7,500.

Implementation Grants – 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 a coldwater conservation plan or similar document was originally completed. The maximum amount awarded for an implementation grant is $15,000.

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.



Pennsylvania Fish & Boat commission
PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds