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 Facilities Management Association (IFMA), planning and implementing our annual tour of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects, and planning the upcoming Watersheds Connections Conference.
As the coordinator for the Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Cluster – DRWI program, we have been working with our cluster partners (Temple University, Villanova University, Lower Merion Conservancy, PA. Resources Council, Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Friends of Poquessing Watershed, Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership and the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association) to update our current implementation plan. This process involves reviewing lessons learned over the past three years, evaluating our cluster’s goals for improving water quality, developing focus areas for Phase II of this initiative and crafting a communication strategy.
On November 9, we led the annual stormwater management best practices tour, highlighting new and existing projects across the five regional watershed areas. We visited sites in the Wissahickon, Pennypack and Poquessing Creeks. You can check out our tour materials here.
Throughout the fall, we led several best practices workshops for members of the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) – Greater Philadelphia Chapter on the benefits of GSI investments. We are now seeking facilities for GSI assessment and design as part of a grant program funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
We conducted our sixth regional workshop for watershed groups in October, meeting with organizations from Northwestern Pennsylvania. We had a great meeting at the Bossard Nature Center in Saegertown with attendees from the Brokenstraw and Conewango Creek Watershed Associations, the Oil Creek Water Trail Association, Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition, and Environmental Erie. Participants heard presentations from national groups such as River Network and Nature Abounds and learned about PEC’s water resource tool from PEC program manager, Deb Frawley.
Finally, we are heading into the final weeks before our statewide watershed conference: Watershed Connections: Bringing Communities Together. Highlights include over 25 educational sessions, remarks from Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell and PA DCNR Secretary Cindy Dunn and if that isn’t enough…we are planning for Shark Tank-Funder’s Edition that will include a panel of four distinguished Sharks hearing pitches for actual project proposals. To learn more, please see our conference website here.
As always, please contact me with any questions at [email protected]. Looking forward to a very busy spring!