Brodhead Watershed Association

Dedicated to protecting our pocono waters

Green Infrastructure Project

How BWA is 'greening' the Lower Brodhead


In 2014, BWA received funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to develop a Green Infrastructure Plan for the Lower Brodhead, McMichael and Pocono creeks.  The watershed in that area is impaired and does not meet clean water standards for recreational use, such as swimming.


Through outreach programs, public education and water quality monitoring, BWA has been and will continue to improve the watershed and its surroundings.


For more information on plans to expand the project, click here. Read a March 2016 Pocono Record article about the expansion here. Everyone can get involved – especially property owners!


For a brief summary of what Pocono-area property owners can do to help with green infrastructure, click here. See the bottom of this page for more details.



Green Infrastructure plan in place!


We've finalized our Green Infrastructure Plan for Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Stroud Township. Read how Green Infrastructure can help your communty.


Click here to read the plan (updated 1/24/17).


PROJECT MAPS: Click here for proposed green infrastructure sites in Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Stroud Township.



      1 - Brodhead Creek water quality

      2 - Summary of data collection

      3 - Pollutant loading and water quality parameters

      4 - Top 10 tips for green infrastructure practices

      5 - Possible sources of funding for green infrastructure

      6 - Green infrastructure resources and reference materials

      7 - Additional information on stormwater fees and incentives

      8 - Possible locations for green infrastructure











Stroudsborg "Pocket Park"   





Storm Water Solutions


See the online magazine Storm Water Solutions

for easy-to-read ideas in low-impact development in green infrastructure.


Click here for the digital edtion.






Stormwater manual available


PennFuture has published a manual on stormwater management specific to Pennsylvania municipalities. Read it here.



Current Green Infrastructure projects include:






In partnership with local organizations and businesses, BWA created rain gardens in prime spots in Monroe County, with plans for more.


These gardens collect rain in downtown areas, where a multitude of roofs and widespread pavement create polluted runoff. The gardens' native plants absorb the chemical-laden rainwater, preventing it from reaching nearby creeks.


At each garden, a sign is installed explaining the garden's function and giving a QR code to scan with a smartphone, leading the public to more information.


  • For information about local gardens click here.
  • Would you like to suggest a location for a new rain garden? Email us!
  • For information on how to make a rain garden of your own click here.
  • Another excellent resource, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay's Reduce Your Stormwater website, includes an interactive garden design tool.
  • For the Top 10 Tips for Cleaner Water, click here.







BWA's outreach campaign "Don't Feed the Ducks" has garnered much attention as it points out a problem many people never considered before: When you feed the ducks, more ducks come. Too many ducks create too much duck poop, which increases the fecal pollution in community waters.


BWA designed and purchased 12 "Don't Feed the Ducks" signs like the one at right, which reads: "When you feed ducks, more ducks come. Lots of ducks mean lots of duck poop. This area's fecal contamination is too high, so please do everyone's water a favor: Don't feed the ducks!"


Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Stroud Township installed the signs within their municipalities at areas with high fecal counts.



To raise children's awareness of this issue, "Duck Patrol" buttons and easy-to-understand information were distributed at public festivals in the summer of 2015.







BWA has been monitoring the streams in the Brodhead Watershed for a quarter of a century, as well as conducting annual fecal coliform testing in partnership with the state Department of Environmental Protection. The results of several years of testing are clear. The lower Brodhead Creek and McMichael Creek are impaired and do not meet clean water standards for Recreational Use (RU).


DEP map of Lower Brodhead watershed shows impaired sections of Brodhead and Mcmichael as of 2013. 

With funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation,   BWA has begun a 3-year project to search for sources of fecal coliform contamination in the lower watershed, and develop a plan to correct the problem, a plan that will focus on Green Infrastructure. 

The results from our summer 2014 monitoring fecal coliform are in, and they are not pretty! 

View map of lower Brodhead sites and results.

View map of lower McMichael sites and results.

View map of the Pocono sites and results.

Values in RED indicate the stream is not safe for swimming.

Read more at our fecal coliform report page.

BWA workers have searched upstream on tributaries that contribute a high load of fecal coliform to the Brodhead.  The first tributary studied is one that flows through part of East Stroudsburg, from the High School to Dansbury Park.   Read the summary of what was found:

Dansbury trib report

View poster summarizing findings.


Volunteer creek walkers at work: Also part of the data collection for the project, volunteer groups led by BWA member Darryl Speicher and George Basila of the Monroe County Planning Commission have walked sections of the lower Brodhead, Pocono and McMichael creeks locating small tributaries, drainage pipes and ditches - anything that could bring fecal coliform pollution to the streams.



Macro-invertebrate baseline data collection: In preparation for the Green Infrastructure project, BWA Board member Don Baylor studied the macro-invertebrates at 9 locations on the lower Brodhead.  Don provided this study as a donated service to the BWA, which helped garner the NFWF grant.  His preliminary results are posted here.   


A map showing the locations studied, and the IBI (Index of Biotic Integrity) score for each is posted here.



Monroe Water Quality Study 2015 results are in!

Click here for chemical data and here for testing locations in the Brodhead watershed.

Excel reports of the macroinvertebrates findings are listed here.


With these reports in hand, BWA has met with municipal boards and concerned individuals in Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg and Stroud Township. These entities have joined BWA in its Green Infrastructure projects.


If you have an idea on how to create a cleaner watershed, email Include "Green Infrastructure" in the subject line.


A rooftop can suddenly turn into a water-saver when it's used as a garden to capture runoff.



EPA report shares tips, lessons learned for green infrastructure in communities


EPA’s Green Infrastructure program has released a new report, “Tools, Strategies and Lessons Learned from EPA Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance Projects.” The report provides results from EPA’s green infrastructure technical assistance program for communities looking for the best solutions to their unique challenges. This quick-reference guide matches problems with real world, tested solutions and offers readers resources for further information. The report also includes a handy guide to technology and a table of benefits to share with potential collaborators and stakeholders.

To see a PDF of the guide, click here.





THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND has published a guide on creating green infrastructure. To read "City parks, clean water: Making great places using green infrastructure," click here.


For a video on how populated places benefit from green infrastructure, click here.


For additional resources on green infrastructure, including a municipal handbook, click here.






MORE RESOURCES for Pocono-area property owners:


Clean Water Partners: Make it your business to reduce water pollution and flooding


GREEN GUIDE FOR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT: A guide to help large property owners identify innovative green projects to reduce stormwater pollution

  • Funding for the DelawAre River Watershed Initiative


The William Penn Foundation is funding numerous projects throughout the Delaware River Watershed aimed at keeping water quality in the Delaware River high. 

Read more.


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation received funding from William Penn Foundation to improve water quality in waters contributing to the Delaware River. 

Read more


That's where BWA comes in!



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P.O. Box 339 Henryville, PA 18332 - Phone: (570) 839-1120