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 #136
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #136

January 15, 2021By: Josh Raulerson

Which of five finalists will be Pennsylvania’s River of the Year for 2021? With less than a week remaining to vote, nominating watershed groups make their final pitch for your vote. Pennsylvania Environmental Council · Watershed Showdown Links VOTE HERE...

Pennsylvania Legacies #135
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #135

December 21, 2020By: Josh Raulerson

On its 100th anniversary, a new book explores the chain of unlikely historical events that gave us Presque Isle State Park. Authors David Frew and Jerry Skrypzak discuss the book, the Isle, and their hometown of Erie, PA. Pennsylvania Environmental...

Watershed Notes
PEC Blog

Watershed Notes

November 11, 2020By: Susan Myerov

As we enter the 9th month of the COVID-19 restrictions, PEC’s water team staff continues to participate in programs across the Commonwealth, keeping our focus on initiatives which promote clean and healthy watersheds. During this time, many Pennsylvanians have discovered...

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...