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 #152
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #152

September 17, 2021By: Josh Raulerson

Philadelphia’s trails took a beating from Hurricane Ida, and some will take months to recover. Two weeks after the floodwaters receded, we look at conditions along the Schuylkill River Trail with representatives from the City of Philadelphia and the Schuylkill...

Smarter Yards, Cleaner Streams
PEC Blog

Smarter Yards, Cleaner Streams

August 26, 2021By: Josh Raulerson

As a result of planning decisions made decades ago, communities throughout suburban Philadelphia struggle with flooding and other negative impacts from heavy rainfall. These conditions don’t just affect residential properties, which account for the bulk of land use in the...

Pennsylvania Legacies #148
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #148

July 28, 2021By: Lily Jones

It’s one thing for an environmental organization to tout its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s another to live out that commitment at the level of programming and daily activities. On this episode: how Philadelphia’s Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership is...

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.