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

ARRI Featured in Washington Post
PEC Blog

ARRI Featured in Washington Post

February 17, 2020By: Josh Raulerson

For 25 years, he oversaw the process that may represent humans’ best attempt to date at total annihilation of land: strip-mining and mountaintop-removal mining of coal… Angel, born and raised in the same eastern Kentucky mountains that have been devastated...

Pennsylvania Legacies #115
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #115

February 7, 2020By: Josh Raulerson

The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) provides support for community watershed organizations to build capacity and coordinate more effectively with one another. This spring they’re taking their show on the road, with regional workshops planned for six locations...

Policy Posts

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...

PEC Supports House Bill 1003

April 29, 2019

PEC submitted the following letter to the House Game & Fisheries Committee in support of House Bill 1003, which will improve the Fish and Boat Commission’s ability to address safety and signage issues with low-head dams.