1. Wissahickon Creek Southeast Region (Watershed 3F)
The Wissahickon watershed encompasses approximately 57 square miles of mostly residential/commercial lands in three boroughs and eleven townships in southwest Montgomery County as well as northwest Philadelphia. The watershed receives large volumes of treated municipal and industrial waste water and a heavy load of nonpoint source runoff.
Key partners include the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, the Montgomery County Planning Commission, the Montgomery County Conservation District, the Philadelphia Water Department and the Fairmont Park Commission. This list is expected to grow as the project moves forward.
The goal for Wissahickon Creek is to apply a watershed approach to allow DEP, local governments, industries, golf courses and water supply utilities to evaluate, develop and implement a management plan that will demonstrate the most cost effective balancing of balancing methods of stream quality improvement. The watershed goals are to focus on solutions which address point and nonpoint sources. The watershed program has just recently been initiated, and is expected continue to expand.
The overarching goal of the Wissahickon Watershed Management Plan is to develop a system which can be used by residents and stakeholders to protect and enhance the quality of the stream while providing for long-term growth. The development of cost effective solutions to water quality problems is the key to stakeholder acceptance and proper implementation. Through the use of EPA seed money and in-kind services provided by key sponsors, the watershed users can develop a plan to determine sustainable solutions. The program will be directed by a Steering Committee made up of representatives of state, county, and municipal governments, industrial users, utilities and residents. This committee will have the final say in what is recommended. This will help to ensure long term community support.
Overall quality of a watershed depends on the control of point and non-point sources of pollution, adjacent land uses and habitat potential. In the past 25 years, state government has done a good job of regulating point source discharges. At this time, we need to shift focus to non-point source control.
Due to the structure of government in Pennsylvania, the next level of stream quality improvement rests primarily with at the local level, or with municipalities. Improvement in the control of non-point sources, stormwater runoff and streamside land uses will only occur by implementing changes to local zoning and land use ordinances. Education of municipal officials, staff and citizens of a watershed is crucial for this change to happen.
It is common for local governments to assume that state government is solely responsible for stream quality. The DEP establishes use classifications, stream standards and point source effluent limits; it is often times not understood that the municipality has a role to play in the protection of a stream. In order to gain the partnership of municipal government, it is important that they understand the need for stream protection; be made aware of the alternatives to reaching the preferred level of protection; and be given the knowledge and tools to implement the necessary changes.
Cost effectiveness is also an important consideration in environmental protection and sustainable development. Stream improvements rely on controlling both point and non-point sources of pollution, as well as ensuring a stable, diverse habitat. The in-stream standards required to support a use classification must be met using the most cost effective balance of point source, non-point source, water flow regimes and habitat improvement. In many instances, water quality improvement based solely on point source control is very costly. By understanding a stream system through a watershed approach, the state and local government and water supply utilities can evaluate the most cost effective balance of solutions. Industrial dischargers will also play a part since this approach can lead to point/point and point/non-point trading of pollutant loads.
The five specific goals of the Wissahickon Watershed program are:
- To develop a usable GIS/pollutant modeling program for the watershed. This model will be used to demonstrate the effect on the water quality of the stream of various pollution control and land development schemes.
- To develop a system that can be used to economically balance point and non-point sources of pollution, water allocations and habitat improvements in order to meet the existing in-stream standards and water uses.
- To develop a system capable of evaluating the impacts of future growth and land use changes on the quality of the stream and to develop a method of cost effectively controlling those impacts.
- To develop a system capable of establishing scientifically defensible TMDLs that are acceptable to the watershed users. These TMDLs must protect the current uses of the stream now and under future growth scenarios.
- To develop an approach and model for implementing cost effective stream quality solutions that are acceptable to the community. This approach and model should be capable of being transformed to other watersheds throughout Pennsylvania.
Finally, note that an application for funding was submitted to EPA in August 1996.
2. Christina River Basin Southeast Region (Watersheds 3H and I)
The Christina River Basin, which includes White Clay Creek, Red Clay Creek and Brandywine Creek drains approximately 565 square miles in southeastern Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, and a small part of northeastern Maryland. The Christina and its tributaries provide drinking water for more than 50 percent of the residents of New Castle County, Delaware.
Stream waters of the Christina River Basin have been designated uses for public and private recreation and aquatic life. Some of these uses are not fully attained or are threatened, because of water quality impairment related to both point and non-point sources of contamination. In addition, some agricultural areas are undergoing urbanization and the effects of land use change on water quality and quantity are unknown.
Attacking the Problem
Despite regulatory oversight of two states, an interstate river basin commission and the federal government, a comprehensive whole basin approach to assess and control water quality within the Christina was never considered until 1988. Restricted by available staff and funding resources, the Christina Basin Study Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) (created in June 1994) elected to address point source impacts through a five year, $1.5 million strategy, culminating in the preparation of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for pollutants of concern. Initial efforts focused on steady state, dry weather conditions; subsequent efforts have changed this focus to include pollutant transport and fate during wet weather conditions as well. EPAs WASP model was chosen for its ability to conduct both water quality and hydrodynamic in-stream modeling at low flow and at storm flows.
The elements of a whole basin approach include preliminary assessment, monitoring, TMDL development, public participation and implementation of controls as necessary to meet stream objectives. A preliminary assessment, funded by EPA concluded that despite the volume and magnitude of samples collected in the Brandywine Creek subbasin, significant data gaps existed with respect to the whole basin approach. The water quality monitoring program portion of the water quality management plan began in October, 1994 and intensive monitoring is to last until September, 1997.
The tasks of subsequent modeling, preparation of TMDLs and public hearings are scheduled for completion in September, 1999. Today, monthly monitoring of the four sub-basins is wrapping up. Upon completion of the model building effort and initial model runs, intensive multi-day Calibration and Verification Surveys will be completed. The TAC is currently composed of representatives from the Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), PA DEP, the Chester County Planning Commission, USGS, EPA Region III, and the Delaware River Basin Commission.
The facilities I.D. inventory lists 72 dischargers in the Basin. The Basin provides a public and private water supply, recreation and fisheries. Three active watershed associations currently are involved, and nonpoint pollution reduction continues to be a primary concern.
With the point source program underway and armed with the concepts of "Partnering" and "Networking", the non-point source water quality impacts were revisited by TAC and ultimately a strategy developed. The non-point source pollutant strategy subcommittee, co-chaired by New Castle County and Chester County agencies, finalized their five year program for the Christina Basin. Developing a water quality management plan that recommends practices to reduce non-point sources of pollutant loads is the focus of their mission statement. Eight primary objectives were identified and will be accomplished in five phases over five years. The duration of each phase will be one year, as follows:
Phase I - Water Resources Inventory/Public Education
Phase II - Stormwater Monitoring/Non-Point Source Model Development/Education
Phase III - Stormwater Monitoring/Non-Point Source Model Verification/Education
Phase IV - Non-Point Load Allocation/Demonstration BMPs/Education
Phase V - Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan
At this point, Phase I has been completed. A ten map overlay series in ARC/INFO format is available from the Water Resources Agency of New Castle County, DE, and the evaluation of existing stormwater management programs is nearly complete. Phase II of the work plan is getting under way. The non-point source subcommittee is currently evaluating a stormwater monitoring plan to collect data for use in the HSPF model. This model will be used to calculate pollutant loads from stormwater running off various types of land in the Christina Basin. The total cost of collecting data and modeling this basin is estimated at $1 million.
A public education program is included throughout the five year effort. The Brandywine Valley Association, a local stockholder, was retained as a part-time coordinator for the Public Education component. Identification of stakeholders has been the most important task of BVA since implementation of any NPS program needs local input and support. Currently, BVA chairs the Christina Basin Task Force which meets quarterly to discuss issues of concern to those present.
Coordination of the Point Source and Non-Point Source programs is achieved through periodic joint meetings. It is expected that the final TMDLs will be developed by combining the non-point source model (HSPF) and the point source model (WASP).
3. Lackawanna River Watershed Northeast Region (Watershed 5A)
Selected due to the high level of public interest and the wide variety of pollutant sources that need to be addressed. There is a great need for a high level of coordination between various agencies and interest groups.
The Lackawanna River faces two major polluters, including acid drainage from coal mines, culm banks and stripping pits, and raw sewage from overflows. A team of planners, engineers and environmentalists in the Lackawanna River Watershed 2000 program is presently engaged in examining the scope of the pollution problems and how to address them. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed a Lackawanna River Corridor Greenway study in 1993 which found that a significant portion of the acidic water flow came via flooded mine tunnels. The total percentages and volume of acid drainage into the Lackawanna River are still under study. The National Institute for Environmental Renewal, a member of the project team, will carry out much of the mine drainage work in the Watershed 2000 project. Several different treatment systems are being examined.
The other serious problem of sewage overflows must also be addressed. The project team will try to estimate the extent of the overflow problem, and then address how to rework the infrastructure or redirect stormwater from sewage flows to lessen the adverse effects which occur during storms.
Possible remedies to cleaning up the Lackawanna River include:
- Build a treatment facility to handle raw sewage that now flows into the river.
- Create wetlands to filter out iron oxide before water enters the river.
- Line abandoned coal mines with limestone to change the acidity of the water that drains through mine shafts before entering the river.
- Separate sewage and stormwater drainage pipes that are now combined.
4. Shamokin-Butternut Creek Northcentral Region (Watershed 6B)
Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA) is an organization formed to work for the improvement of water quality in the Shamokin Creek Watershed. Recently formed, the SCRA is now evaluating methods to improve water quality in the watershed. The SCRA is considering ways to establish a water quality database for the entire watershed. The SCRA may begin construction of a well to monitor flow at a specific site, litter clean up projects, and public education efforts.
Related to this watershed, the DEP is conducting a feasibility study in the Shamokin/Butternut Creek area to assess past flooding affects, examine how to rework box culverts and other man-made water flow control structures, and to anticipate flooding potential.
5. Swatara Creek Central Office (Watershed 7D)
An exposition was held in December 1995 which brought local conservation groups together. They formed committees and are now pursuing various projects from building canoe launches to lobbying for a dam at the state park.
In March of 1996, a local citizens' group called Citizens Coordinated for Clean Water (CCCW) hosted an exposition to highlight activities of various groups throughout the watershed. These activities included:
- environmental education;
- fisheries improvement and monitoring projects;
- developing a park around the Union Canal Tunnel;
- a rails-to-trails project south of Lebanon City;
- the Quittapahilla Nature Trail Park along a Swatara Creek tributary;
- a groundwater education program.
The "Expo" initiated several committees to pursue projects identified as highest priority. Participants expressed most interest in enhancing recreation, monitoring water quality, and protecting and restoring streamside areas, and providing environmental education and outreach related to the watershed. PA DEP and DCNR helped to plan the "Expo", and continue to participate in follow-up activities. CCCW has since become incorporated as the Swatara Creek Watershed Association (SWCA). DEP and DCNR continue to meet with their board and the Conservation Districts to provide information and assistance. Joint projects include a streambank restoration project on an industrial site (SCWA identified the site and coordinated with the industry), and a volunteer monitoring project tentatively scheduled to begin this summer. The DEP Office of Mining has been working with residents in the upper watershed to build and maintain abandoned mine drainage remediation projects. These projects are being funded from several sources, including DEP's Statewide Nonpoint Source Pollution Program (Section 319 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act). An Upper Swatara Watershed group has rallied around the effort, providing volunteer labor, equipment, and limestone. This group and SCWA have started to look into the future coordination of watershed efforts. Other projects involved state agencies include:
- DEP's Bureau of Watershed Conservation continues to work with Dauphin County communities to effect storm water management plans through PA's Act 167 program. Plans are nearing completion for most of the lower Dauphin County Watersheds.
- DCNR's Key '93 program has awarded funds to purchase additional property for the Union Canal Tunnel Park. The Tunnel is a significant historic and recreational feature in the center of the watershed.
- DCNR has been coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move the Swatara State Park dam permitting process forward, and to start the park's recreational development.
- DEP will soon be working with local groups and industries as part of a Nonpoint Source Forum to identify demonstration projects related to nonpoint source pollution prevention and remediation. The Swatara watershed will be one of the four focus areas throughout the state for this forum. (See Mineral Resources Management, Northern Swatara for addition information.)
- On May 3, 1997, "Canoe the Swattie" - a cleanup day was held on the Swatara River.
The Swatara Creek Watershed Association recently completed a video titled Swatara Creek: A Focus at Work. The 11-minute video, funded through a grant from Hershey Foods, focuses on recent activities throughout the watershed that have dramatically improved the creek's water quality.
The video highlights the dramatic water quality improvements resulting from cooperative projects, including diversion wells to treat AMD, and the Association's annual canoe trip to clean the creek and litter. Also highlighted are positive contributions of several area youth who improved a canoe launch site.
For more information, or to purchase a video, contact the SCWA at (717) 274-1175.
6. Codorus Creek Southcentral Region (Watershed 7F)
The Codorus Creek Watershed encompasses most of central, Southcentral, and southwest York County. Codorus Creek supports a diverse aquatic community above Spring Grove Borough. Water quality concerns include the P.H. Gladfelter discharges and York Citys runoff. Codorus Creek provides water supplies for public and industrial purposes. There are a number of impoundments on the creek, including Lakes Marburg, Redman and Williams.
The initial watershed meeting was held in December, 1996. On March 6, 1997, a joint organizational meeting was held between the Codorus Creek Watershed Association, York County Planning Commission and North Codorus Township. The group solicited six people to form an executive committee and to develop goals and objectives for the watershed. Representatives from Trout Unlimited, the Sierra Club, the P.H. Glatfelter Co., Buchart Horn, Inc., the York Water Company, the Codorus Monitoring Network and North Codorus Township volunteered to serve on a steering committee to develop a mission statement and an organizational structure, as well as to set some initial goals for the association. The next meeting has been tentatively scheduled for June 5, at 7 p.m. at the North Codorus Township Municipal Building.
7. Spring Creek Northcentral Region (Watershed 9C)
As part of the 1994-95 program plan year, each DEP region was assigned the task of developing a regional watershed project, utilizing watershed management techniques developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Northcentral region chose the Spring Creek Watershed, located entirely within Centre County, as its pilot project.
The EPA assigned a staff person to work on the Spring Creek Watershed project in May 1995, along with DEPs regional water management program manager. The watershed protection approach being used has five primary elements:
- building a project team and public support;
- defining the problem;
- setting goals and identifying solutions;
- implementing control;
- measuring success and making adjustments
While most successful watershed projects require about five years from inception through assessment of the success of watershed management controls, it was hoped that this particular project would move along more quickly than others. One of the most important initial activities was to develop a list of stakeholders in Centre County. To accomplish this, DEP and EPA conducted a meeting with various state, local and federal agencies; two environmental groups, including the Clearwater Conservancy, and the Centre County and Centre Regional Planning Commissions to discuss the project. Each meeting also resulted in identification of more stakeholders for future contacts.
Because of its previous watershed work in Centre County, it was decided that the Clearwater Conservancy would be the best organization to accept the responsibility of being the local lead group in developing the watershed management project. The Clearwater Conservancy indicated its willingness to take part in such a program but expressed concern about potential funding.
The EPA notified the DEP in February, 1996 that it was allocating $25,000 of Clean Water Act funds for the Spring Creek watershed. In order to utilize these funds, a work plan was developed and submitted to the Bureau of Water Quality Management in Harrisburg.
On April 2, 1996, the Clearwater Conservancy was selected by the Centre County Commissioners to host the International Countryside Stewardship Exchange Program. The program was coordinated by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The exchanges are organized by the Countryside Institute. The Institute was created ten years ago to bring together professionals in land conservation, rural development and community planning from Europe and North America to work with communities on common problems while sharing expertise and experience.
The initial exchange meeting and follow-up meeting were held in May, 1996. Nearly 100 people attended representing all the major stakeholder groups. The purpose of these meetings were to identify issues each person felt was important as related to the Spring Creek Watershed. A formidable list of nearly 60 issues was developed by the group. Subcommittees to create working group within the steering committee were defined, chaired and staffed that very same evening.
To date, several studies, planning efforts and cleanup projects are underway. The focus on Spring Creek presents the opportunity to add an element of coordination and communication between the involved parties and agencies. The steering committee has met several times since May, 1996, attempting to better define and categorize each issue.
A team of international experts resided in the Spring Creek Watershed for a week last September with the specific mission of preparing recommendations for the watershed, (in response to the previously identified issues.) A meeting of experts was held on September 19, 1996, with support for land acquisition.
DEP hopes to attach some of the EPA funding to an existing contract with Penn State University in order to begin compiling existing data of all types relative to the Spring Creek Watershed for use by the International Stewardship Exchange Group. A separate contract for the remainder of the money will be developed to fund future activities by the Clearwater Conservancy or whatever group is chosen to lead the watershed program.
For more information, see the Spring Creek Community Home Page at: http://www.springcreekwatershed.org/
ClearWater Conservancy of Central PA Inc., received $50,000 from part of Governor Ridges $1.06 million rivers conservation grants. The funding will be used to develop a river conservation plan for the Spring Creek Watershed.
8. French Creek Northwest Region (Watersheds 16A and D)
Flowing throughout northwest Pennsylvania, a number of endangered species as well as a wide variety of other fish and aquatic life can be located in French Creek. Chlorine is a major threat to these species.
Currently, a number of projects are underway that will impact positively on stream quality. Work is currently underway with the City of Meadville to replace their sewage treatment facility. Also, there is an ongoing relationship with Saegertown and Cambridge Springs to encourage the improvement of their facilities as well. Also, municipalities are correcting local problems in areas with malfunctioning septic tanks by extending sewer facilities to these unserved areas.
Recently, the region contracted with a biologist to conduct a mussel survey of the Creek. Using federal grant moneys, they have surveyed and completed studies of the stream, and have determined that endangered mussels are present in French Creek.
An ongoing partnership with the Soil Conservation Service, PA Farmers Association etc. will continue working towards sound nutrient management practices as well as improved stream bank protection. Also, Allegheny College students are active in monitoring of the stream.
French Creek Watershed (8/5/98)
Unlike most watershed projects, the French Creek Watershed Pilot Project focuses attention on a creek that is one the most biologically diverse east of the Mississippi River. But, like other projects, the creek's uses are threatened by pollution. With a drainage area of 1270 square miles and an length of 117 miles, impacts from sewage and industrial waste discharges as well non-point source runoff have affected this renowned creek. With more than 70 species of fish and 25 species of freshwater mussels (2 are Federally Endangered), French Creek serves as an indicator for what water quality and biological diversity once was in Pennsylvania streams. Although several areas of the creek have been noticeably degraded by pollution, it is the fact that a large portion of the creek is relatively unaffected that has drawn the attention of DEP for this effort. Our goal is to maintain and enhance the existing uses in the stream while improving those areas that have been impacted by regaining the water quality and diversity that once existed along the entire length of French Creek
French Creek has drawn attention from local colleges and special interest groups for many years, however it wasn't until the spring of 1995 that a dedicated effort outside of DEP was undertaken. THE FRENCH CREEK PROJECT is a cooperative 5 year effort initiated by the Western PA Conservancy, the PA Environmental Council and Allegheny College. Devoted solely to raising the public awareness in the French Creek watershed, the FRENCH CREEK PROJECT created an advisory committee of nearly 30 people, including the project manager for the DEP effort, John Holden and the Northwest Field Office Regional Director Steve Beckman.
Involving itself in the efforts of the FRENCH CREEK PROJECT, DEP has been able to help raise the awareness about the creek within the community. Some of the activities undertaken either independently or through involvement with the FRENCH CREEK PROJECT are discussed below. DEP's efforts on the creek have been discussed in several forums, including speaking at staff meetings, college classrooms and the Teacher's Workshop, sponsored by the FRENCH CREEK PROJECT. A college intern was hired to assist with the DEP effort to compile information regarding the activities in and along French Creek. A list of all point source discharges, surface mine, landfills, environmental cleanup and water quality network stations in the watershed was created. These activities were plotted on a watershed map. (See example below)
Researching courthouse records, the names and addresses of the riparian zone landowners were collected and entered into a database and used to create a mailing list. A survey was then generated in consultation with local interest groups in the watershed and mailed to the landowners. The completed and tallied results have been used by DEP and the French Creek Project to focus educational efforts regarding the creek.
Representatives from DEP (Water Management Regional and Central Office and Land and Water Conservation), EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, USGS and the Western PA. Conservancy (nineteen people in all) gathered in the creek in Crawford County to observe the abundance of freshwater mussels and darters found in the Creek. Expert malicologists and biologists presented information to the group regarding the mussels and fishes that were observed. This was followed by a two hour canoe trip. Stream bank stabilization projects that are underway through cooperative efforts from the landowners and the Conservancy were pointed out.
The project manager serves on the College/School Collaborative Committee. This Committee, founded by faculty of Allegheny College, is investigating the need for a local Outdoor Learning Center for all area school district to use. One of the focuses for the Center will be the diversity of French Creek. The group continues to meet on a regular basis and has recommended that a local industrial complex be developed into a learning center. Logistics are being worked out now for that development.
The project manager serves on the Science Sub-Committee of the French Creek Project. The Science Committee is cosponsored by the PA Environmental Council and the Western PA Conservancy. It was determined that this committee primary purpose would be to provide scientific and technical support to the French Creek Project. The project manager was interviewed by the consultant hired by the French Creek Project as a Key Person in the French Creek Vision Plan preparation. The Vision Plan will outline the French Creek Project goals for the remaining 3 years of the sponsorship and beyond.
DEP was given a 104(b)(3) grant to complete endangered mussel surveys in French Creek. The French Creek Pilot Project manager serves as the contract manager. The purpose of these surveys is to determine the presence of endangered mussels in relation to point source discharge. This information will be used to make better decisions regarding NPDES permits and the effluent limitations within. The approved contractor began the surveys at Saegertown, Cambridge Springs, Utica and Meadville. The survey scope was expanded in 1997. Additional 104(b)(3) grant funds were used to re-survey at Saegertown. Additional surveys were completed in the French Creek watershed, including the Conneaut Outlet, the South Branch of French Creek and Conneauttee Creek. To date, approximately $33,000 of 104(b)(3) grant funds have been spent on the mussel surveys. The current grant is valid until September, 1998 and there is some money remaining.
DEP continues to issue permits that afford additional protection to French Creek. The new City of Meadville STP is almost complete and areas that once were wildcat sewers are connected to the system. These projects should eliminate continual bypasses of raw sewage to the creek.
DEP has worked closely with two other municipal sewage discharges on French Creek to enhance the performance of their plants in order to comply with NPDES requirements and improve the quality of water in the creek.
DEP has submitted a TMDL, or Total Maximum Daily Load proposal to EPA for the French Creek segment that is listed in the 303(d) list. Meeting the TMDL goals will result in the attainment of the uses in the segment of French Creek that have been degraded by municipal sewage bypasses.
DEP participated in discussions with the Crawford County Conservation District regarding 319 grant funds. A prioritized list of projects was generated and will be used for the grant proposal. The projects include NPS controls on agricultural runnoff in the upper French Creek watershed and point source controls on Milk House Wastewater. DEP will continue to work with the District on the projects that are funded.
The goal of the French Creek Watershed Initiative continues be to enhance and maintain the existing uses of the creek. This is being accomplished partly by taking an active role in the various organizations mentioned above. Additional scientific data on the creek is being collected through the mussel surveys which document the diversity in the watershed. This information is also used during the permitting phase for point source discharges in the vicinity of known endangered mussel populations.
The FRENCH CREEK PROJECT Vision Plan was unveiled on April 18, 1997 at three locations along the creek. The ceremonies were attended by the Regional Director, DCNR Secretary John Oliver, DEP Secretary James Seif and a representative from the Governor's Erie office.
A site has been chosen for the College and Schools Collaborative's Outdoor Learning Center and a Director has been hired. The new Meadville STP is scheduled to go on-line August 10, 1998. The Saegertown STP, through negotiations with DEP and the US Fish and Wildlife Service continues to enhance the operation of its facility by reducing the amount of chlorine used for disinfection. The Cambridge Springs STP continues to upgrade their plant to enhance solids removal and phosphorus control.
FRENCH CREEK PROJECT WINS NATIONAL WATERSHED AWARD
The Conservation Fund recently announced that the French Creek Project, based at Allegheny College in Meadville, has been selected as a winner of the 1998 CF Industries national Watershed Award. Projects from 33 states competed for the award which will be presented Oct. 8 in Washington, D.C. The goal of the French Creek Program is to conserve the creek’s habitat, maintain its biological diversity and water quality and protect its endangered species. Among the problems facing French Creek are nonpoint source pollution from farm and highway runoff, sewage treatment plant discharges, malfunctioning on-lot septic systems, erosion, sedimentation and siltation, chemical spills, non-native species and loss of buffer strips along its banks. French Creek begins in Chautauqua County, N.Y., and extends 117 miles south through northwestern Pennsylvania to its confluence with the Allegheny River at Franklin, Venango County. The 1,270-square-mile watershed constitutes 11 percent of the drainage basin for the Allegheny River. The stream provides habitat for over 80 species of fish and 26 species of freshwater mussels, more than any other stream in Pennsylvania. <> For more information on the French Creek Project, contact Brian Hill at 814 332-2946, e-mail frenchcrik@.com or visit the project’s website at http://webpub.alleg.edu/group/fcreek/.
For additional information on the French Creek Project Click here .
9. Montour Run Southwest Region (Watershed 20G)
Located in the State Water Plan Sub-basin, DEPs support includes providing stream and discharger information, laboratory services for a stream survey and following up on water quality problems.
The Department is supporting a local group which is primarily responsible for this project. The support given includes sample analysis and use of their regional biologist on a limited basis. Currently, they are attempting to complete the watershed quality analysis. The local group ultimately plans to buy up property along the stream for preservation purposes.
Recently, the group has completed an aquatic biology survey and prepared a related status report for Montour Run.