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 #137
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #137

January 29, 2021By: Josh Raulerson

All over the country, consumers want locally grown food. But much of the demand is concentrated in densely populated areas, where farmers have to compete with developers over a finite amount of arable land. Montgomery County has a solution: fully...

Check It Out: POWR Launches Redesigned Website
PEC Blog

Check It Out: POWR Launches Redesigned Website

January 25, 2021By: Tali MacArthur

Motivated by the resilient commitment and dynamic energy of community watershed organizations across the state, The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) took on the task of redesigning its website to provide better access to the tools and resources...

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.