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.




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

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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

The Big Picture
PEC Blog

The Big Picture

November 25, 2019By: Josh Raulerson

As Upstream Suburban Philadelphia (USP) coordinator for the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI), one of PEC’s responsibilities is to organize watershed tours. These outings are a chance for USP partners to showcase their stormwater management work to William Penn Foundation...

PEC in the News

10 MINUTES WITH Bobby Hughes

November 24, 2019Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre)

As a youngster, Robert “Bobby” E. Hughes set out to learn why culm banks existed and why rivers and streams ran orange with acid mine wastes. His legacy, he hoped, would be that of someone who did something about the...

Policy Posts

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...

PEC Urges Senators to Reject House Revenue Bills

September 18, 2017

PEC has sent the following communication to the Pennsylvania Senate strongly opposing a House-approved revenue package that would have devastating impact on state-funded environmental, conservation, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and community-based programs. Click here to identify your legislator and let them know you oppose...

Beyond Troubling

September 15, 2017

Late Wednesday the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation (House Bill 453) that, if enacted as part of the state budget, would constitute the largest cut to environmental and energy program funds in the state’s history. What does this legislation...