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 84,000 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

The River Town Program

Through the River Town Program, PEC assists towns bordering navigable rivers by using outdoor recreation to help revitalize communities.

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Programs

Other Recent Programs


Inside News and Policy

Protecting Pennsylvania’s Watersheds
Featured Post

Protecting Pennsylvania’s Watersheds

PEC Senior Program Director-Water Resources Sue Myerov outlines our role in watershed protection throughout the Commonwealth. With Pennsylvania watersheds impaired from the coal mining and extraction uses of previous generations, PEC works with its statewide partners to improve the Commonwealth’s rivers...

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What’s New

Four Area Programs Announced as Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Winners
Press Releases

Four Area Programs Announced as Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Winners

April 2, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 2, 2015 Contact: Sally Tarhi Pennsylvania Environmental Council (412) 481-9400 WPEA@pecpa.org Pittsburgh – Four environmental conservation and education programs from throughout Western Pennsylvania will share $20,000 from Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) for innovation...

PEC in the News

Residents and Environmental Groups Testify on Act 54 Report

March 27, 2015Observer-Reporter

CALIFORNIA – Residents and environmental groups testifying Friday on a report documenting the impacts of mine subsidence urged a state Department of Environmental Protection advisory board to recommend stronger regulations to protect streams and other water resources. About 18 speakers...

Policy Posts

PEC Offers Support For Pair of House Bills

February 2, 2015

Support for House Bill 48 (P.N. 42) On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I am writing to express our support for Representative Godshall’s House Bill 48 (P.N. 42) which would establish construction and decommissioning standards for private water...

Pennsylvania Environmental Council: Policy Priorities for 2015

January 23, 2015

Tom Wolf has been sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 47th Governor and the focus in Harrisburg can now move past campaigns and ceremony to the difficult task at hand: governing a state with a projected $2.3 billion deficit. Tough questions and...

PEC Statement on Act 162 of 2014

October 23, 2014

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Yesterday Governor Corbett signed House Bill 1565 into law as Act 162 of 2014. Act 162 amends Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law to weaken forested riparian buffer requirements in Pennsylvania’s most pristine watersheds. “House Bill 1565 weakens our...