In order for local watershed initiatives to be successful and long term, the local citizenry must be the driving force. However, watershed groups are greatly enhanced through government participation and assistance. Local, state and federal entities offer watershed organizations technical expertise, extensive historical watershed data, project funding, staff hours, training and countless other public resources.
Pennsylvania's watershed initiative has thrived through the DEP's Growing Greener Grants Program, which has been Pennsylvania's single largest investment of funds to address environmental concerns. The Growing Greener program will distribute $645.9 million dollars over five years to fostering partnerships with watershed groups, community and business leaders, and other government agencies.
Agencies like the Chesapeake Bay Program and the US Geological Survey have compiled large quantities of water quality data, which is available to the public over the internet. This kind of background data and support can help organizations decide where to wade into the watershed assessment process so they are not in over their heads. Government Agencies also offer numerous environmental education opportunities for students and community groups, free of charge.
Information above compiled using "Some Irreverent Questions about Watershed-based Efforts" by David H. Getches
National Park Service offers organizations assistance for river conservation projects and has many educational resources.
US Dept of Agriculture funds numerous DCNR programs, including the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), which helps to protect the country's fragile wetland ecosystems.
US Environmental Protection Agency is charged with protecting both the country's environmental and human health. The agency implements the Clean Water Act and provides guidance, specifies scientific methods and data collection requirements and is active in air, water and land issues.
US Fish and Wildlife Service's "Partners for Wildlife" program helps landowners restore wetlands.
US Geological Society collects water quality data from many streams throughout the US. Much of there information, including the condition of Pennsylvania waterways can be found on their website.
Pennsylvania State and Local Links
The Delaware River Basin Commission establishes water quality standards by designing and opperating water supply and pollution control facilities.
Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission coordinates water-related resource issues within the basin and represents regional issues to congress and other federal agencies.
PA Department of Conservation of Natural Resources administers grant and technical assistance programs benefiting rivers conservation, trail and greenway development, recreation and environmental education.
PA Department of Agriculture is a partner in the PA DEP's Growing Greener Program helping to clean up abandoned mines and restore watersheds. PA Department of Community and Economic Development offers technical assistance to municipalities on planning and zoning issues.
PA Department of Community and Economic Development offers technical assistance to municipalities on planning and zoning issues.
PA Dept. of Education partnering with local school districts can be helpful in advancing local watershed initiatives.
PA Fish and Boat Commission regulates all of the Commonwealths inland and boundary waterways, along with its aquatic resources, reptiles and amphibians.
PA Game Commission manages Pennsylvania's wild birds and mammals.
PA Lake Management Society is a citizens group formed to promote understanding and comprehensive management of lakes and reservoirs and their watersheds.
PA Wild Resource Conservation Fund helps to educate Pennsylvanian's to recognize and preserve some of the state's most sensitive flora and fauna.
DEP Fact Sheet
Alternative Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Programs