Watersheds

Pennsylvania is endowed with a rich mosaic of wetlands, lakes, rivers, and creeks sustained by pure aquifers that provide drinking water and world-class recreational opportunity ranging from sport fishing to paddling. Pennsylvania’s unique landscape and abundant precipitation supports 86,000 miles of rivers and streams, the most of any state besides Alaska.

Sadly, 15,000 miles of creeks and rivers are not drinkable, fishable, or swimmable – the goals of the Clean Water Act of 1972.  A combination of stormwater run-off, municipal wastewater, agricultural run-off, abandoned mine drainage, and industrial discharges degrade streams and present a complex long-term challenge.

We dig deep to understand and address policy barriers and to gather and promote innovative solutions such as green stormwater infrastructure, water quality trading, and inter-municipal cooperative agreements. PEC coordinates watershed-based programs to manage stormwater and to restore watershed function.  Rainfall is treated as a precious natural resource to be slowed and infiltrated to recharge groundwater and support stream base flow through green infrastructure.

 

Watersheds

Community Illegal Dumpsite Cleanup Program

PEC has been working since 2007 to clean up illegal dumpsites through a multi-faceted approach.

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Programs

Other Recent Programs


Inside News and Policy

Regional Watershed Workshops Kick Off With Event in Southwest Pennsylvania
Featured Post

Regional Watershed Workshops Kick Off With Event in Southwest Pennsylvania

On March 8, PEC officially held the first of six regional watershed group workshops as part of a statewide initiative aimed at building local capacity for stewardship. Funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s...

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What’s New

An Update From the Watersheds Program
PEC Blog

An Update From the Watersheds Program

February 16, 2017By: Susan Myerov

PEC’s watersheds team has had a very busy fall and winter, working on a variety of projects including the initiation of Phase II planning for the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI), facilitating best practices workshops for members of the International...

Get Connected on March 5-6 in State College
PEC Blog

Get Connected on March 5-6 in State College

January 30, 2017By: Susan Myerov

According to current estimates, there are between 300 and 400 local watershed organizations active across Pennsylvania. But opportunities for networking and collaboration among them have been limited: though gatherings have been held occasionally since the early 2000s, the last statewide...

Policy Posts

PEC Supports House Bill 417

February 10, 2017

Today PEC sent the following letter to the House Consumer Affairs Committee in support of House Bill 417. February 10, 2017 To:  Members of the House Consumer Affairs Committee From:  John Walliser, Pennsylvania Environmental Council Re:  Support for House Bill...

PEC Supports Senate Bill 30 and Senate Bill 192

January 31, 2017

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council sent the following letter to the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee today, offering support for Senate Bills 30 and 192. Dear Senators: In advance of tomorrow’s Senate Game & Fisheries Committee meeting, I would like to...

PEC Offers Support for House Resolution 908

PEC Offers Support for House Resolution 908

August 26, 2016

Today the Pennsylvania Environmental Council sent a letter of support to the General Assembly for House Resolution 908, which would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct an exploratory study on industrial and commercial water withdrawal fees. The resolution...