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

Summer of Outreach
PEC Blog

Summer of Outreach

September 30, 2019By: Kadafi El-Kardah

To help the Philadelphia Water Department meet their MS4 permit requirement, PEC provides public education and outreach to residents, businesses, and schools. Our boots-on-the-ground in this effort is Community Engagement Specialist Kadafi El-Kardah, who shared this account of his summer...

Pennsylvania Legacies #106
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #106

September 13, 2019By: Josh Raulerson

Allegheny College’s “Creek Connections” program gets students out of the classroom and into local waterways for a hands-on learning experience. Watershed educator Laura Branby explains how Creek Connections is sparking kids’ interest in the sciences and building their relationship with...

PEC in the News

Legislation introduced to clean up abandoned coal mines

September 10, 2019Tri-County Independent

WASHINGTON –Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15) introduced legislation on Monday to clean up America’s abandoned coal mines, by ensuring states have enough resources to restore polluted sites to their original condition and to spur new economic...

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...