The collaborative structure of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, which has enabled us to bring over $2 million in clean water projects to Abington and Cheltenham, has made our Upstream Suburban Philadelphia Partnership so much smarter, more effective and more efficient, than the sum of its parts. We hope you get a sense of the impact of this partnership on your community and your creeks by exploring this storymap. Special thanks to the creative Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) for developing this unique tool to tell the story. Please share it with your staff, elected officials, volunteer committees, and constituents. — Julie Slavet, Executive Director
This is a guest blog, reposted from 4States1Source, the Delaware River Watershed Initiative.
The streams and watersheds of southeastern Pennsylvania have been affected by decades of growth and development, much of which occurred without infrastructure to properly manage stormwater runoff. Excess runoff flowing into the many streams and tributaries of suburban Philadelphia has created problems with stream flow and function, localized flooding issues, and pollution that poses a threat to both aquatic habitat and the region’s drinking water.
As Coordinator for the Upstream Suburban Philadelphia (USP) Cluster, one of eight regional partnerships within the DRWI, Pennsylvania Environmental Council draws on our extensive experience convening and facilitating watershed-based partnerships to maximize the impact of local projects and activities by our USP partners. These include gathering and analyzing data, promoting green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), working with municipalities, training volunteers, and educating the public, to name just a few.
With so much going on in the Cluster, it’s not always easy to see the big picture. That’s why PEC recently led the development of an interactive StoryMap to highlight successful projects, acknowledge local stakeholders, and build community support. The StoryMap provides a bird’s-eye view of the upstream watershed, showing how partner activities complement and reinforce one another, as well as the ability to zoom in for a closer look at individual sites and projects.