The Center for Water Quality Excellence (CWQE) is a support center that helps landowners, local governments, businesses, and organizations navigate the world of funding opportunities in urban and agricultural stormwater management. By providing clarity and guidance on grants, loans, incentives, and public-private partnerships, our goal is to accelerate the implementation of stormwater management practices in order to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution of our streams and rivers.
Our audience includes farmers, businesses, municipalities, and institutions, as well as organizations and agencies that offer financial and technical assistance at the local level.
The Center is a pilot program operating in Lancaster and York counties in 2021-2022 and is funded by the PA Investment Infrastructure Authority, otherwise known as PENNVEST. During the pilot phase, only those located in Lancaster and York counties can request personalized assistance; however, the online Support Hub’s library of resources can be accessed by the general public.
As a one-stop shop, the Center:
- Untangles the maze of assistance programs and helps you move to the next level of planning, design, or implementation of conservation/stormwater practices;
- Shares success stories and smart or innovative financial strategies for getting practices in the ground;
- Connects you with the right people and programs or mix of funding opportunities at the state, regional, or local level; and
- Educates audiences about stormwater management challenges and offers guidance on Best Management Practice (BMP) selection and implementation.
The Center’s activities include: 1) An online self-service support portal available 24/7 that allows customers to ask questions, request support and search a digital library of stormwater resources, 2) a physical storefront located in Columbia Borough, Lancaster County for one-on-one consultations and workshops/open house events, and 3) a mobile education center that will take storefront services on the road to key targeted events.
Our goal is to provide personalized service to help you understand and navigate expectations and requirements associated with funding opportunities. CWQE "coaches" offer in-person and phone support to best suit your schedule and move you to the next level of stormwater implementation.