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Volume 22 No. 2Spring 2013
In This Issue
WREN Awards over $68,000 to 15 Community Partnerships
WREN Drinking Water Protection Workshop June 19, 2013
What is Your Status? WREN Video Animation Encourages Awareness of Drinking Water Protection
Sensors Help Predict Algae Blooms
Garret Hill Coalition Hits a Home Run with WREN Project
WREN Annual Meeting to Highlight Connecting, Collaborating and Creating Solutions for Clean Water

WREN Awards over $68,000 to 15 Community Partnerships

Raystown Lake
Huntingdon County
June 19, 2013
Attention: municipal officials, planners, water authority boards, water operators, conservation organizations & interested residents
Girl Drinking Water Shadow

Videos to Watch

Innovative BMP Video:
WREN Video:
Quick Links
Study in Western PA uses 15 indicators and samples every two weeks for at least a year


Some species listed as "Do Not Eat"
Stormwater Magazine 
Authority Accepting
Applications For Water
Supply, Wastewater
Infrastructure Projects
 Due: June 28, 2013

Act 13 Abandoned Mine,
Watershed Restoration,
Greenways Grant
Due: July 31 2013

Patagonia Grants for Environmental Work
Proposals Due: Aug. 30

Project Learning Tree Grant Opportunities
Due: September 30, 2013 

 2013 Groundwater Symposium Presentations


Save the Date
June 4-5, 2013  Baltimore, MD
June 12-13, 2013
Indiana, PA

WREN Drinking Water Protection Workshop
June 19, 2013
Huntingdon, PA

2013 Environmental Educator Conference
June 19, 2013
Harrisburg, PA
June 24-25, 2013 
Hartford, CT
July 10, 2013 
State College, PA
July 10-11, 2013
Lancaster, PA 
Denver, CO

August 7-9, 2013


Dirt and Gravel Roads Workshop

August 13-14, 2013

Dauphin County, PA


Mid-Atlantic Green Roof Science and Technology Symposium

August 16-17, 2013

College Park, MD  


International Low Impact Development Symposium
August 18-21, 2013 
St. Paul RiverCentre,
St. Paul Minnesota

PA Municipal Authorities Association Annual Conference & Trade Show
August 25-28, 2013 
State College, PA

Implementing Green Infrastructure at Multiple Scales
September 9-12, 2013
Shepherdstown, WV

2013 Susquehanna Water Science Forum
October 7-8, 2013
Camp Hill, PA

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WREN Awards over $68,000 to 15 Community Partnerships  

2013 wren grant map
The Water Resources Education Network (WREN) Project, a project of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund (LWVPA-CEF), has announced that fifteen community partnerships across the Commonwealth have been awarded a share of grant funds totaling $68,400 in funding. The recipients will carry out grass-roots community water education projects between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.   


The three 2013 Source Water Protection Collaborative grant recipients are:


1. Berks County

Center for Excellence in Local Government - Albright College 

Source Water Protection for Berks County            


2. Columbia/Montour Counties

Columbia and Montour County Conservation Districts 

Columbia-Montour Source Water Protection Coalition     


3. Pike County

Hemlock Farms Conservancy 

Pocono Source Water Collaborative  


Funding will support the formation of three new County Source Water Protection Collaboratives that will work together to educate community stakeholders about ways to protect public drinking water sources from pollution.  


Source of funding for Source Water Protection Collaborative grants is the PA DEP Source Water Protection Program through Section 1452 of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996, administered by US Environmental Protection Agency.


The following twelve Watershed Education Projects were awarded funding for activities focusing on improving watersheds by reducing nonpoint source water pollution: 


4. Allegheny County 

Borough of Etna                                                                             

Design and Maintenance of Rain Gardens for Landscape Professionals


5. Montgomery County

Borough of Ambler - on behalf of Ambler Environmental Advisory Council        

Public Awareness + Incentives = 10 Rain Gardens in Ambler PA    


6. Lancaster County

Lancaster Farmland Trust                                            

A New "Greening" Model for Municipalities     

7. Centre County

Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited                                            

Return the Roots-A Backyard Makeover for Streamside Landowners


8. Montgomery & Philadelphia Counties

Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc.             

Managing Rainfall in the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed: Stormwater Project Tour


9. Lehigh & Northampton Counties

Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley          

Master Watershed Steward Program

10. Cambria & Clearfield Counties

Trout Unlimited, Inc.                    

Chest Creek Watershed Community Engagement Project              


11. Lancaster County

Borough of Mount Joy                                  

Mount Joy Borough Community Rain Garden: A Blooming Good Idea!


12. Northumberland County 

Sunbury's Revitalization, Inc.                    

Storm Water Runoff Management: From Education to Implementation


13. Centre County

Borough of State College   

Light Step, Right Step Festival




14. Dauphin County

The Manada Conservancy     

The Swatara Greenway: Restoring Our Riparian Buffers, a Community Planting Project  


15. Bucks County

Warrington Township                                  

Green Infrastructure Outdoor Classroom Trail and Home Owner Linkages                             


Click here to read more about the 2013-14 Water Resources Education Network Projects. 


Funding for WREN Watershed education projects is made available by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Nonpoint Source Management Program through Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act, administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency.  

WREN Offers Drinking Water Protection Workshop in June

Attention: Municipal & County Officials, Planners, Water Authority Boards, Water System Staff, Conservation Groups & interested residents
Does your community have a Protection Plan to keep contaminants out of your municipal water supply? Are you using all of the tools available to protect residents? Join us and learn more.
When: Wednesday, June 19, 2013; Registration 8:45 am; Workshop 9am-3pm
Where: Raystown Lake Visitor Center, 6993 Seven Points Road #2, Hesston, PA Huntingdon County, PA (map)

Communities across Pennsylvania have expressed a keen interest in protecting the purity of their public water supplies. Many are developing forward thinking approaches to safeguard municipal water sources. To help communities, planners, and public water systems learn more about tools and management options to protect drinking water now and for future generations, WREN and PA DEP will conduct an educational workshop at Raystown Lake, Huntingdon County on June 19th. 

June 2013 wren workshop
What: WREN's Julie Kollar and DEP's Cathy Port will outline the voluntary Source Water Protection Program available through PA DEP. They'll be joined by PMPEI Chairman and talented certified planning instructor Dr. Stan Lembeck.  Stan will present "Sustaining Your Water Supply through Land Use and Planning Tools, & Act 13 Oil & Gas Considerations." Beth Futrick will present "Management Tools to Reduce Agricultural Risks to drinking water," along with Andrew McAllister who will present "Addressing Acid Mine Drainage Risks to Drinking Water," Brian D. Eckert, Director of PA Dept of Community & Economic Development will wrap up with a session on "Financial Tools for Water Supplies, the Commonwealth Financial Authority, & Act 13 Funding."  
Who Should Attend: The workshop will benefit new and experienced municipal officials, planners, water utilities conservation groups and anyone interested in assuring safe drinking water.Learn more about your important role and how to ensure the health, safety and welfare of families by modernizing drinking water stewardship.


Cost: $10/person covers workshop, materials, and box lunch.
For more details, download flyer and agenda, or to register, click here
WREN Video Animation to Encourage Awareness of Drinking Water Protection: What is Your Status?

video screen captur 

WREN recently completed a three minute video designed to educate and encourage residents to become proactive and ask community leaders and water systems across Pennsylvania to put common sense protection measures in place to enhance the safety, reliability and sustainability of local water supply sources. Developed with assistance from GreenTreks Network Inc. and suitable for all audiences, watch the three minute video and please share. 


WREN is enhancing its sourcewaterpa website to soon allow residents to check whether their public water supplier has a PA DEP-approved Source Water Protection Plan in place.  PA Safe Drinking Water regulations direct public water suppliers to find and utilize the best sources available and to take measures necessary to protect those sources.  The measures can include defining the wellhead protection or source water protection recharge areas, setting permitting requirements and development standards that will protect drinking water resources, improving emergency response coordination, among many others.  The regulations also set forth the requirements for earning state approval of local Source Water Protection (SWP) programs.


Unfortunately, because the SWP program is voluntary, far too few PA DEP-approved Sourcewater Protection Plans are in place.  This means many drinking water sources may still face significant preventable risks. As studies have shown, prevention is drastically less expensive than dealing with contamination.


Check the maps at "Your Status" to see whether your drinking water system has an approved Source Water Protection Plan - a listing of water systems with DEP-approved plans will be available at the site soon.
source water protection map

Sensors Help Predict Algae Blooms

Nutrient pollution is one of the most challenging and wide-spread environmental problems in the country. It is caused when too many nutrients enter waterways. The nutrients fuel the growth of small plants called algae, which decrease oxygen in the water. Reduced oxygen levels can kill fish and other aquatic life. Some algae release toxins and can be harmful to humans,, pets and wildlife, like blue green algae. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have threatened beaches, drinking water sources, and even the boating venue for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.


What are blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that many people refer to as "pond scum." Blue-green algae are most often blue-green in color, but can also be blue, green, reddish-purple, or brown. Blue-green algae generally grow in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams when the water is warm and enriched with nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen from fertilizer runoff or septic tank overflows.


EPA fact sheet nutrient pollution

To help combat this pollution problem, sensors have been installed along the Great Miami River (a tributary to the Ohio River) to monitor water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and most notably, blue green algae. The sensors may help determine the potential for algal blooms.


This information is valuable to help prevent contact with toxic algae blooms. Real time data is sent to the YSI EcoNet website. A map of other case studies of areas of the country that are facing this issue head on are available on the EPA website


EPA's Nutrient Pollution website includes actions to take to prevent nutrient pollution in your community, in your home, in your yard, and in your classroom. For comprehensive information on this pollution issue, click on the EPA fact sheet pictured here. 

Garret Hill Coalition Hits a Home Run with WREN Project

garret hill flyer A current (2012-13) WREN Watershed Education project, Garrett Hill Coalition in Radnor Twp, Delaware County, did a stupendous job on their "Managing Stormwater in Our Backyards" project. 


The focus of the project was to demonstrate a variety of solutions that help improve water quality by reducing storm water impacts. Two workshops and workdays were held to help solve stormwater runoff in a the Garrett Hill neighborhood, which is an older residential area of Radnor Township built before stormwater controls came into use.

Garrett Hill Partners get rain garden installation help from Bryn Mawr Scout Troop 19 and Eagle Scout Colin McCrossan on 10/27/12, the day before Hurricane Sandy - Brand new rain garden at Clem Macrone Park in Radnor worked beautifully during and after the storm without damage to plants or structure.

What made this project successful?
In following WREN's lessons learned for grantees, the project team:


1. "Blew Their Horn!" Publicized and shared the good news about winning funding. They outlined benefits to the community about how rain gardens manage stormwater, provide habitat for birds and butterflies, and reduce flooding.  Eagle Scout Colin McCrossan described the demonstration rain garden that his Boy Scout troop planned to install in October 2012.

The Partners issued a press release announcing the project, and shared the goals, upcoming activities and how residents could get involved. 

2. Involved their municipal partner, Radnor Township, in the project. As a result, the coalition broadened the reach of their efforts and made additional resources available, like the Township's website and Community Access Channel, to broadcast community workshops multiple times to help reach more constituents. 

3. Videotaped their rain garden workshop and posted the video to share with all residents on the township website. 

4. Created a webpage packed with resources for homeowners featuring foolproof photos with smiling faces doing the desired environmental behaviors featuring the Garrett Hill community members.

5. Worked to get good publicity throughout the project. 


WREN is proud of the work the Garrett Hill Coalition Partners have done to make a difference for water quality in their community! 


This education program was sponsored by the Garrett Hill Coalition and has been funded in part by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania Citizen Education Fund through a Section 319 federal Clean Water Act grant for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.   

WREN Annual Meeting to Highlight Connecting, Collaborating and Creating Solutions for Clean Water

Project Leaders to Share Lessons Learned   


On June 11-12, community leaders from across Pennsylvania will gather in Carlisle at the annual WREN Grantee Meeting to share lessons learned from successful 2012 projects, and to hear tips for carrying out new projects during 2013-2014 that will boost grass roots action in communities for clean water.


Designed to bring together a variety of stakeholders to share experiences in drinking water protection and watershed education, the WREN Annual Meeting helps community groups, municipalities, water systems, and conservation groups learn from each other and from experts about research, tools and resources available to improve their projects, and in turn, benefit their local communities. Attendees will include representatives from 2012 and 2013 WREN Grant community partnerships that are conducting drinking water protection and watershed education projects.


Keynote sessions will feature Kathy L. Pape, President of Pennsylvania American Water, the largest regulated water utility in the Commonwealth, providing water and wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people in 390 communities. PA DEP Deputy Secretary Kelly Heffner will share an update on the Department and water policy in the state.


Communications expert and perennial favorite with WREN grantees, Eric Eckl of Water Words that Work LLC, will share proven techniques to plan successful pollution prevention campaigns. Eric will cover ways to get results with best practices and messages that help turn simple actions into big steps to make a difference in communities. Extraordinary conservation leaders are needed now more than ever.We are delighted that Larry Schardt has agreed to take a break from teaching natural resource conservation at Penn State and will join us to present Seven Qualities of Phenomenal Leaders. 

The WREN Meeting is always valued by participants for the opportunity to network and learn with like-minded water education volunteers and professionals and for the varied resources offered. The conference is by invitation only for recipients of WREN grants. Consider joining us for 2014 - Start planning your community water education project now with local partners!
Water Policy News is published three times a year; E-News is published monthly by the Water Resources Education Network, a project of the League of Women Voters of PA - Citizen Education Fund.  Please send your water education related programs and activities to WREN Communications DirectorVisit www.sourcewaterpa.org to learn more about drinking water protection.  Visit wren.palwv.org to learn more about WREN and local projects in PA.