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 #92
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #92

February 22, 2019By: Josh Raulerson

The Senate passes a massive public lands bill including permanent reauthorization for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Pennsylvania’s native trout are flourishing thanks to the state- and national-level work of Trout Unlimited. We talk with TU President...

Pennsylvania Legacies #91
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #91

February 8, 2019By: Josh Raulerson

Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of small, people-powered organizations dedicated to protecting and restoring local watersheds. These groups are accomplishing great things in their communities, typically on a shoestring budget. But could they be even more effective by coordinating their...

Pennsylvania Legacies #90
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #90

January 25, 2019By: Josh Raulerson

Patriots Cove, along Beaver Run in Wyoming County, is more than just a great fishing spot. It’s a refuge for brook trout and human beings alike, where injured veterans are healing themselves and one another while helping to restore an...

Policy Posts

PEC Urges Senators to Reject House Revenue Bills

September 18, 2017

PEC has sent the following communication to the Pennsylvania Senate strongly opposing a House-approved revenue package that would have devastating impact on state-funded environmental, conservation, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and community-based programs. Click here to identify your legislator and let them know you oppose...

Beyond Troubling

September 15, 2017

Late Wednesday the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed legislation (House Bill 453) that, if enacted as part of the state budget, would constitute the largest cut to environmental and energy program funds in the state’s history. What does this legislation...

PEC Opposes Legislative Raid on Special Funds

September 11, 2017

PEC has sent the following communication to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives strongly opposing tax code and administrative code bills that would have devastating impact on state-funded environmental, conservation, agriculture, outdoor recreation, and community-based programs. Click here to identify your legislator...