11/4/19 - $25 Million Mussel Hatchery for the Susquehanna River is Part of as $200 million deal with the State of Maryland to attempt to lesson the environmental impact of the Conowingo Dam on the River and Chesapeake Bay.
The agreement calls for the Exelon to pay out the $200 Million over 50 years for cleanup and management of storm debris and preventative programs to improve water quality.
Restoration and Protection of the Chesapeake Bay
- A contribution of Exelon lands and more than $25 million in funding to support the construction, operations, and maintenance of a mussel hatchery along the banks of the Susquehanna River. Mussels from this hatchery when stocked into the Susquehanna River basin will filter nutrients and sediment before they reach the Bay. This natural improvement in water quality will be further enhanced by increasing passage of an important mussel host species, American eel, at Conowingo Dam.
- More than $19 million of funding support for Maryland to invest in water quality improvement projects, including forest buffers and agricultural projects such as cover crops to reduce nutrient pollution.
- More than $12 million to Maryland to support staff resources for oversight and protection of the Chesapeake Bay.
- $5 million for chlorophyll A monitoring and reporting.
- $500,000 to fund a feasibility study of dredge material disposal options in and around the Conowingo pond.
Enhanced Debris Management
- Continued commitments valued at $41 million to address debris accumulation, including an engineering study examining additional methods to divert debris before it reaches the dam, and employment of clamming, skimming, or other equally effective means of debris removal.
Enhanced Habitat and Fish Passage Improvements
- $11 million of improvements to eel passage that will help facilitate mussel restoration with its benefits to nutrient reductions, plus a contribution of $1 million to fund eel passage research.
- More than $47 million in funding for climate resiliency projects, including submerged aquatic vegetation, aquaculture, clam and oyster restoration projects, and living shoreline creation to help make the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay more resilient to severe weather events.
- Modifications to river flow valued at $52 million to enhance habitat for aquatic species like American shad and river herring, that reside downstream of the dam, and submerged aquatic vegetation, which trap sediment, remove pollution and serve as a vital habitat to spawning and rearing fish.