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Plan for Clean Water

creating a municipal guide to protecting land that protects water


Good decisions need good information. The more you know when you buy something – a house, a car, even a new phone – the more likely you are to make a good choice.


Good decisions about protecting land need good information, too.


Providing that information is the goal of a new partnership between BWA and Monroe County Planning Commission, with funding from the Open Space Institute, and guided by a project team which includes representatives from Pocono Heritage Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlands Conservancy, Monroe County Conservation District, North Pocono CARE and Aquashicola-Pohopoco Watershed Association, Brodhead Creek Regional Authority, and municipalities such as Smithfield and Stroud townships.


Click on the image to see the land in the Monroe
County Open Space, Greenways & Recreation Plan.
Click on the image to see the streams in the Monroe
County Open Space, Greenways & Recreation Plan.




Many municipalities in the county have open space acquisition funds, but need information to use those funds wisely — and to explain the “why” of their decisions to constituents.


The reports, maps, and data this project provides will help officials do just that. The research will pinpoint properties that would provide the most protection for water quality and quantity if they are protected from development.


“The study will look at properties throughout the county, not just within the Brodhead watershed,” says Bob Heil, BWA executive director. “We hope this way of looking at water issues — taking into account both political boundaries and watershed boundaries — will be a model for other watershed organizations.”


the results


The summary report, “Protecting Land That Protects Water,” will set out the findings of the technical studies in plain English. It will include a matrix of lands important for drinking-water protection, stream flow and quality, and groundwater recharge. Detailed maps will make clear the best land for protecting water.


The work will be completed by late 2018, and delivered to county and municipal elected officials — with specific acquisition recommendations for each. “Wherever possible, we will arrange in-person meetings to review the report findings and answer questions,” Heil said.


Jackson, Paradise, Smithfield and other municipalities have open space funds available. Some have asked for exactly this kind of information. Now, they’ll have concrete guidance for prioritizing how to use open space funds, based on water values — preserving quality and quantity of both groundwater and surface water.


– Carol Hillestad



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