Blog Post Amanda John Kimsey Jun 30, 2017

State Legislators Must Address Pennsylvania’s Water Crisis

The Susquehanna and other state waterways are at risk, but legislation in the state legislature would authorize needed funding for environmental protection programs.

Pennsylvania is home to the lush hillsides of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the expansive farmlands of Gettysburg National Military Park and the verdant valley of First State National Historical Park.

To preserve and protect these beloved places, Pennsylvania’s national parks and national heritage areas depend on local, state and federal funds, such as the state’s Growing Greener Environmental Stewardship Fund, which has supported thousands of watershed and landscape restoration projects, recreation programs, and historic preservation efforts since Gov. Tom Ridge enacted it in 1999.

Yet the funding for this program is now at all-time lows, and natural resources in the state are in dire need of assistance — especially our water.

Approximately 20,000 miles of Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams are unsafe for either drinking, swimming, fishing or aquatic life according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council ranked Pennsylvania third, behind Texas and Florida, for drinking water safety violations. The number of impaired waters in Pennsylvania exceeds all other states in the nation, and is more than twice the number of the state with the second longest list — Michigan. Failing water infrastructure, fewer state environmental workers and insufficient watershed restoration funding have put Pennsylvania families and local economies at risk.

NPCA’s new video outlines some of the dangers to the Susquehanna River and other waters in the state.

NPCA has been working with a coalition to support the Growing Greener 3 Initiative — legislation currently in the Pennsylvania state legislature that would help address funding shortfalls and support conservation work state-wide. If the legislation does not pass this week, critical funding to address environmental threats will remain at all-time lows.

Without efforts to oppose devastating proposed cuts to state agencies and proactive measures to pass Growing Greener 3 legislation, lawmakers put Pennsylvania communities and national park landscapes at risk.

  • The sources of the water that Pennsylvanians drink would continue to be unsafe in many parts of the state
  • If state environmental staff are cut, there will likely be closures of state parks and camp grounds
  • Conservation groups and local communities rely on financial support from the Growing Greener Initiative to support important park protection work such as controlling polluted stormwater, restoring stream banks and repairing trails. Without these funds, important preservation projects could fall through.

If you live in Pennsylvania, please support this important initiative by letting your officials know how much these waters mean to you.

About the author

  • Amanda John Kimsey Former Manager, Corporate Partnerships and Cause Marketing

    As the Manager of Corporate Partnerships & Cause Marketing, Amanda and the dynamic team steward and engage NPCA’s generous corporate partners in efforts to offer meaningful benefits to national parks advocacy and protection efforts. Amanda helps to identify, cultivate, and support existing and prospect corporate partners in aligning their corporate social responsibility/cause marketing goals with the important work that NPCA leads.