The Wildlands Conservancy receives the 2020 Governor's award for Environmental Excellence for efforts to protect the Lehigh River. 

The award recognizes the conservancy's restoration project of 500 acres located at the headwaters of the Kondike Dam property in Gouldsboro. Officials say this project helps to secure clean drinking water for nearly 180,000 local residents. 

"When we removed the dam, because of long term water quality monitoring at the site, we saw intimidate and dramatic water quality benefits from the removal of the dam. So this really is ensuring in perpetuity that the Leigh will always have a clean, cold source," said Vice President of Conservation, Abigail Pattishall. 

Officials say the project was a major collaboration among state agencies like the Department of Environmental Protection, the PA Game Commission and the William Penn Foundation. 

60 agencies with projects from across the commonwealth applied for the awards. 14 winners were chosen.