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

Reforestation

PEC’s reforestation program works to restore forests on legacy coal mines across the Commonwealth.

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Programs


Inside News and Policy

Building Watershed Coalitions
Featured Post

Building Watershed Coalitions

As a follow-up to our 2016 series, POWR and PEC are convening a series of regional workshops across the state to identify needs and provide organizational capacity and technical resource tools to Pennsylvania’s community watershed organizations. Invited guests include staff...

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What’s New

Pennsylvania Legacies #123
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #123

May 22, 2020By: Josh Raulerson

These days, environmental issues are politically charged in a way that can make sound, commonsense policy seem unattainable. But it wasn’t always like that — and it doesn’t have to be. Tom Ridge, the Republican former governor of Pennsylvania, says...

Picking Up the Pieces
PEC Blog

Picking Up the Pieces

May 13, 2020By: Hannah Clemenson

PEC’s motto, “conservation through cooperation,” aptly describes any number of our programs and activities. But it’s especially relevant to the collaborative work of legacy mine land restoration, which we’ve been proud to share with our government and nonprofit partners in...

Watersheds En Plein AIr
PEC Blog

Watersheds En Plein AIr

May 7, 2020By: Tali MacArthur

Pennsylvania’s scenic rivers are perfect places for paddling, fishing, exploring, hiking, biking, painting, birdwatching and… wait, what? Painting? Well, yes — that too! In fact, landscape painting has more in common with watershed conservation than you might think. En plein...

Policy Posts

PEC Opposes House Bill 2004

May 4, 2020

PEC submitted the following letter to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, which will be considering HB2004 on May 5, 2020.

PEC Supports Senate Bill 915

February 2, 2020

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council submitted the attached letter to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee in advance of their hearing (February 5, 2020) to consider Senate Bill 915.

PEC Opposes Senate Bill 763

June 24, 2019

PEC submitted the following letter to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Senate Bill 763. This bill would limit reporting on the environmental impacts of long wall mining on aquatic resources, public infrastructure, and private water supplies. The...