The following agencies are highly involved in all aspects of watershed work including regulation and enforcement, education, interpretation, recreation, etc.
Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Programs – DEP's Office of Water Management plans, directs and coordinates departmental programs associated with the management and protection of the commonwealth's vast water resources. Staff administers and oversees departmental programs involving surface and groundwater quantity and quality planning, and soil and water conservation.
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – DCNR manages state park and forest lands for the protection of water resources and water-based recreation. It also administers grants and technical assistance that helps communities and organizations with their recreation and conservation needs. Its Geologic Survey produces groundwater reports and data.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission – PFBC oversees boating and fishing regulations in Pennsylvania, manages aquatic fisheries and habitat, provides education programs and boat safety instruction, coordinates PA water trails, plus more.
River Basin Commissions
Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) – This is a joint governing body with the force of law to oversee river basin planning, development and regulatory strategy affecting the Delaware River in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Great Lakes Commission – An interstate compact agency that promotes the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water and related natural resources of the Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence River. Its members include the eight Great Lakes states with associate member status for the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Québec.
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) – The ICPRB’s mission is the enhance, protect and conserve the water and associated land resources of the Potomac River and its tributaries through regional and interstate cooperation among Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and the federal government.
International Joint Commission – Canada and the United States created the International Joint Commission because they recognized that each country is affected by the other's actions in lake and river systems along the border.
Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) – Since 1948, ORSANCO and its member states (PA, NY, WV, VA, KY, IN, IL) have cooperated to improve water quality in the Ohio River Basin so that the river and its tributaries can be used for drinking water, industrial supplies, and recreational purposes; and can support a healthy and diverse aquatic community.
Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) – The SRBC is the agency which coordinates the water resource efforts of New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland that affect the Susquehanna Basin via enhancing public welfare through comprehensive planning, water supply allocation and management of the water resources of the basin.
County Conservation Districts - Many county conservation districts have staff dedicated to watershed work. They often handle permitting at the local level for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, erosion & sedimentation permits, etc. People can find their local county conservation district here.
Adopt Your Watershed by the EPA – This program challenges you to serve your community by taking part in activities to protect and restore your local watershed.
Surf Your Watershed from the EPA – This website allows people to locate their watershed, find listings of organizations working to protect water quality and explore additional information related to their watershed.
Stormwater PA – StormwaterPA is your go-to resource for the most current information and effective, proven techniques in stormwater management.
Watershed Education – DCNR’s Watershed Education is an educational program for students and teachers in grades 6-12. It promotes classroom and field research, hands-on ecological investigations, networking, partnerships, stewardship and community service in an effort to produce environmentally literate citizens.
Creek Connections – Creek Connections is collaborative program run between Allegheny College and public school districts in western Pennsylvania and New York for the purpose of encouraging natural science education through hands-on field and laboratory experiences.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Education page – CBF offers student field experiences, teacher professional development and resources, and student leadership programs.
Pennsylvania Envirothon – This high school environmental knowledge competition always has an aquatic component.
Project WET – The mission of Project WET is to reach children, parents, educators and communities of the world with water education.
Project WILD Aquatic – Project WILD links students and wildlife through its mission to provide wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions toward wildlife and related natural resources. The Project WILD Aquatic K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide emphasizes aquatic wildlife and aquatic ecosystems.
Trout in the Classroom Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Trout In the Classroom (TIC) is an interdisciplinary program in which students in grades 3-12 learn about coldwater conservation while raising brook trout from eggs to fingerlings in a classroom aquarium and is overseen jointly by Trout Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
MAPPING AND RESEARCH
DCNR Interactive Maps – These multi-functional map display state parks, forests, watersheds, geologic features, aquatic community classifications, shale gas activity and more.
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network – This program measures the amount of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc.) that fall on a given area.
eMapPA – This web-based mapping application was developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Geospatial Data Center. Users can search a variety of parameters related to water quality including, but not limited to, quality designation, name, encroachments, NPDES permits, flood plains, scenic river designations and more. This is an ideal tool for working with students on researching land use and affects to their local waterways.
Great Lake Research Consortium – The Great Lakes Research Consortium font-size:7.0pt;mso-bidi-is an organization of eighteen colleges and universities in New York, with nine affiliate campuses in Ontario, dedicated to collaborative research and education on the Great lakes.
PA Sea Grant – PASG is dedicated to promoting the ecological and economic sustainability of Pennsylvania’s coastal resources through the development of science-based research, education, and extension programs. It is a partnership of Penn State University, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is part of the National Sea Grant College Network, which sponsors research, education, training, and outreach projects to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of coastal resources.
StreamStats – StreamStats is a Web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) that provides users with access to an assortment of analytical tools for water-resources planning and management, and for engineering design applications, such as the design of bridges. StreamStats allows users to easily obtain streamflow statistics, drainage-basin characteristics, and other information for user-selected sites on streams. StreamStats users can choose locations of interest from an interactive map and obtain information for these locations.
Stroud Water Research Center – Since 1967, Stroud™ Water Research Center has been dedicated to understanding the ecology of streams, rivers, and their watersheds — both pristine and polluted.
RECREATION AND RECREATION PROTECTION
American Whitewater – American Whitewater is a national non-profit organization with a mission to conserve and restore America's whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely. This is an excellent website for information on river flow and dam releases.
PA Water Trails - Water trails are boat routes suitable for canoes, kayaks and small motorized watercraft. Like conventional trails, water trails are recreational corridors between specific locations. Water trails are comprised of access points, boat launches, day use sites, and -- in some cases -- overnight camping areas.
Boating and Water Safety Awareness Boating courses are fun for the entire family and are offered at many locations throughout the state and in your own home. People who successfully complete a Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission approved boating course are issued a Boating Safety Education Certificate good for a lifetime. A certificate is needed to operate some watercraft.
Fishing Regulation Summary Page A summary of fishing regulations and requirements by the PA Fish and Boat Commission.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Fishing Program – This includes information on the SMART angler and family fishing programs.
USGS Real-Time Water Data – This site allows you to check stream flow for any stream in the US. This can be used to gauge ease of paddling, fishing access, safety, etc.
Trout Unlimited – Trout Unlimited works for conservation, protection, and restoration of North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, ensuring that future generations can enjoy fish in cleaner waters and provide ecofriendly fishing tips for those who enjoy the sport of fishing.
WATER QUALITY/QUANTITY RESTORATION
Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) – ALLARM is an environmental organization based out of Dickinson College that empowers local communities with scientific tools to assess, protect, and restore waterways.
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay – The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay engages individuals, groups, businesses, other environmental organizations and not-for-profit groups to develop collaborative solutions to improve, preserve, and protect the Chesapeake Bay and all its resources.
Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR) – EPCAMR represents a coalition of watershed organizations and reclamation partners. Members range from individuals, to the active anthracite mining industry and co-generation power plants, to non-profit organizations, 16 county conservation districts and other organizations in the anthracite and bituminous coal region of eastern Pennsylvania that are involved with abandoned mine reclamation issues.
EPA’s Volunteer Monitoring Program – This is a standard rapid bioassessment stream water quality monitoring program that is a benchmark for many volunteer programs.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) – The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is dedicated to saving the Bay through education, advocacy, litigation and restoration.
Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program for Pennsylvania – The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is a voluntary conservation program which rewards producers and landowners for installing conservation practices on their land, and offers up to 100% cost share reimbursement for installation, annual rental payments, and cash incentives. This program is heavily involved in riparian buffer work.
Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (WPCAMR) – WPCAMR works with watershed volunteers, technical remediation experts, and government agencies to reclaim lands and streams polluted by historic coal mining in Western Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) – Since its inception, PENNVEST has continued its service to the communities and citizens of Pennsylvania by funding sewer, storm water and drinking water projects throughout the Commonwealth.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a private, nonprofit, tax?exempt organization that provides funding on a competitive basis for projects that sustain, restore and enhance the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funds projects which assist in the restoration of the habitats and water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams.
The Fish and Wildlife Service Grant Program includes a variety of natural resource assistance grants to governmental, public, and private organizations, groups, and individuals. Examples include restoration of a variety of habitats on private land through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, promotion of conservation of wetlands and associated habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife, and restoration of natural resources and establish or expand wildlife habitat.
The Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) is a collaborative effort between the PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds and Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited. The purpose of the Coldwater Heritage Partnership (CHP) is to provide leadership, coordination, technical assistance, and funding support for the evaluation, conservation and protection of Pennsylvania's coldwater streams.
The Water Resources Education Network (WREN) is a project of the Citizen Education Fund of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania (LWVPA-CEF). WREN is a nonpartisan informal collaboration of organizations and public officials working for the protection and management of Pennsylvania’s water resources, both surface and ground water, through grass-roots education and informed policy-making.
The William Penn Foundation provides grants to support its strategic plan, which includes investments in great public spaces and ensuring clean water by protecting the Delaware and Susquehanna watersheds.