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

Growing Mussels for Healthier Waterways
PEC Blog

Growing Mussels for Healthier Waterways

November 22, 2021By: Lily Jones

Bartram’s Garden, the 2021 Recipient of PEC’s “Special Places” Environmental Partnership Award, is already an important resource for Southwest Philadelphia and the greater Philly area. Its riverfront campus includes historic buildings and gardens, an arboretum, and a community farm focused...

‘Tis the Season for Watershed Conferences
PEC Blog

‘Tis the Season for Watershed Conferences

November 9, 2021By: Susan Myerov

Over my career as a watershed planner, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a wonderful array of professional conferences, seminars, workshops, and forums designed to help improve my technical knowledge and skills, promote the sharing of ideas with other professionals,...

Pennsylvania Legacies #155
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #155

October 29, 2021By: Lily Jones

The problem of plastic polluting the ocean has been a popular topic for a while. But until about 10 years ago, no one was studying the prevalence of plastics in fresh water. Dr. Sherri Mason, Director of Sustainability at Penn...

Policy Posts

PEC Supports Senate Bill 251

March 22, 2021

PEC sent the letter included below to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee in support of SB251, which would update the 1965 Pennsylvania Fertilizer Act to establish best practices for use of fertilizer, create a certification program for commercial...

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.