PPL backs program to raise shad in eastern Pennsylvania schools

PPL Corporation has awarded another $5,000 to support Shad in Schools, a program to teach students about the fish while helping to restore populations to eastern Pennsylvania.

The students hatch fish eggs in May in hatching systems that cost about $2,000 each. Once the eggs are raised, the larvae are later released into the Delaware or Lehigh rivers.

“Thanks to the continuing support of PPL, this program has spread to the New Hope area and the Brandywine Conservancy. The University of Delaware has also begun a program,” said David Bittner, coordinator of the program for the Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association.

“We are hoping that in addition to our greater Lehigh Valley area, other programs along historical shad rivers can help to raise awareness to help restore the American shad population. Without PPL’s past support, this would not have occurred,” he said.

PPL has given about $70,000 to date to support the program. Bittner is also working with several agencies to possibly begin broadcasting footage online from webcams in select schools.

During the Revolutionary War, Gen. George Washington’s troops frequently ate shad, which migrate from the ocean to fresh water to spawn. Populations of shad later dwindled, leading to conservation efforts in Pennsylvania.

“We’re proud to support this program that teaches students biology, math, history and art, while at the same time helping to restore a fish species important in American history,” said Meg Welker, supervisor of public programs for PPL.

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