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

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...

Press Releases

2021 “River of the Year” Nominations Open

October 19, 2020

For Immediate Release October 19, 2020 Contact: Janet Sweeney Email: [email protected] Phone: (570) 718-6507   2021 “River of the Year” Nominations Open Public to Vote on Pennsylvania’s Best River Nominations Accepted from October 19, 2020 Through November 16, 2020  ...

Take a Walk Along the Tookany Creek Trail
PEC Blog

Take a Walk Along the Tookany Creek Trail

October 16, 2020By: Zhenya Nalywayko

We’re entering the home stretch of the Tookany Creek Trail feasibility study! Over the past year or so, our team—consisting of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF), and Campbell Thomas & Co. (CTC)—has collected roughly 500...

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...