What a Difference A Day Makes

After talking about Storms and their impact on water quality earlier this week, we were hit by a short but severe storm late yesterday — and the river runs muddy as a result…


To learn more about the big picture and how we can all take steps to prevent polluted runoff from affecting our waterways, check out our ever expanding Online Resource Center, StormwaterPA.


Stormwater hits home in more ways than we think…

Impact of Storms on Water Quality on Triathletes Minds

As 4,500 athletes prepare to converge on Philadelphia for this weekend’s Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon, all eyes will be on the skies, in hopes that no serious storms hit the area within the 24-48 hour period leading up to the race. First up in the event’s swim-bike-run format is a swim in the Schuylkill River–which, contrary to popular belief, is surprisingly clean.

As of mid-day Monday that is, when Philly RiverCast indicated the Schuylkill’s water quality was Green, or suitable for all activities. Here’s what it’s showing right now:

The problem is, the water quality in our rivers and streams can drastically change when we’re hit by a storm.

Why? When it rains, the dirt, animal waste, and other contaminants that build up on the surface of the ground or pavement are washed off into the streams and rivers. Though there is more water in the streams and rivers during storms, there are more contaminants as well. That’s not only a problem for triathletes, rowers, and anglers, but for the entire ecosystem that’s linked to a watershed’s health.

It’s no wonder we’re so wrapped up in promoting better stormwater management by pushing for Buffer Legislation, working with the Philadelphia Water Department to highlight the City’s Green Infrastructure movement, and continuing to grow our flagship program, StormwaterPA.

Check out these efforts and learn more about the things you can do to prevent water pollution.


It’s National Rivers Month, a great time to appreciate our natural wonders. Get wet!

Each year, hundreds of people from around the state of Pennsylvania participate in River Sojourns — taking to some of the state’s 83,000 miles of rivers and streams to explore the natural beauty of our waterways while catching some sun, making new friends, and appreciating the healthy environment that we work so hard to protect. We’ve done alot of programs starring Pennsylvania’s waterways over the years, including a piece for our friends at the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Remember the River celebrates the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, the living ecosytem that’s the lifeblood of our region: transportation corridor, renewer of spirit, economic engine, natural wonder, giver of life.

Check it out, then visit a Starbucks in the Delaware watershed to get a free membership to the Riverkeeper Network and learn more about this amazing group’s incredibly valuable work.


Remember the River from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

Really Inspired?  Find a Sojourn near you and celebrate Rivers Month with paddle in hand…

River Sojourns coming up soon:

Juniata River, June 12-19

Susquehanna River, June 13-19

Delaware River, June 20-26

Lehigh River, June 25-26



Amidst the Gulf Disaster, Continued Mountaintop Destruction, Drilling Fears, Isn’t it Time to Seriously Look to the Sun?

Several years ago, Radnor Township’s Environmental Advisory Council challenged the municipality to lessen its environmental footprint and turned to the sun. So did the owners of the Stargazer Winery, whose passive solar home demonstrates the potential for living off the grid–even here in PA.


Sun Powered from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.

DID YOU KNOW banning plastic bags in the UK is expected to be the equivalent of taking 18,000 cars off the road?

It is estimated that 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year –- and making them takes around 100 million barrels of oil. Plastic bags take hundreds if not thousands of years to decompose; they litter our oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams; and burning them creates toxic air pollution.

Shouldn’t we all start bringing our own bags when we go shopping?

Learn more at Worldwatch Institute >>