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.