BWA History

25 Year Celebration


Every successful business owner I know understands that the success of their business depends on the quality of their employees. They understand that delivering a quality product or quality service to their customer depends on dedication and commitment of each and every employee.


The highlight of every annual membership meeting of the Brodhead Watershed Association is the presentation of the Stream Saver Award. This is the greatest honor the BWA bestows on an individual for their efforts in preserving our water resources.

This year’s annual meeting marked the 25th Anniversary of the BWA and befitting such an august occasion we honored a group, not an individual, the Monroe County Conservation District technical staff: Orianna Richards, John Motz, Victor Motts, Patricia Attardo and Drew Wagner. Collectively these individuals represent over a century of experience in implementing State Law and regulations enacted to conserve our soil and water resources. This important job in the Brodhead Watershed, where the streams are among the finest in the world, is too often thankless. Due to our watershed’s special protection status, regulations for earth disturbance and stormwater management are more stringent than they are in other parts of the state where unregulated activities in our past have in some cases left streams so impacted they no longer support life.
The Conservation District staff is committed to working with anyone interested in developing projects requiring earth disturbance, wetland impacts and stream encroachments to ensure they can achieve their economic goals while maintaining water quality.

Every watershed resident can be proud of their efforts. During the height of the real estate boom of the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s, Monroe County saw tremendous development pressure. Our population doubled from 1980 to 2008 and yet our wetlands were protected and our watersheds still attain their designated uses. This can be directly attributed to State Laws and regulations that the Conservation District administer on or behalf.

Orianna, John, Victor, Trish and Drew the Brodhead Watershed Association appreciates all that you do, your integrity is unmatched and we are proud to acknowledge you as Exceptional Value Stream Savers – thank you.

The First Twenty Years


Our long-running STREAMWATCH PROGRAM is an all volunteer monitoring program going into 20th year. Begun by Jill Shoesmith in 1990, it now consists of 6 teams sampling 80 sites with approximately 70 volunteers.

We completed River Conservation Plans for the Brodhead Watershed and Cherry Creek. The plans were important to put these waters on the state registry and make them eligible for grant money to carry out recommended actions in the plans.

Along with partnering organizations, we have obtained many grants, for example, one for the Pocono Creek Sustainability Study, and others for the Paradise Watershed to implement recommendations from the Conservation Plan. Through these grants a great deal of crucial biological data has been collected on fish and macroinvertebrate populations throughout the watershed.

We have successfully petitioned for EV redesignation of upper Swiftwater Creek and Indian Run. The petition was completed by Board member Kietryn Zychal.

We have collaborated with East Stroudsburg University on projects through Drs. Jeri Jewett- Smith and Shixiong Hu. These have included work on invasive species, studies of bank stability and water temperature.

For the last several years, we have conducted an annual River Ramble, an event during which people can visit a number of stations on a stream and learn about a variety of watershed issues from experts. The past two years we have partnered with Friends of Cherry Valley through the efforts of Board member Anne Fetherman.

BWA developed a job description and helped the Brodhead Creek Regional Authority produce a grant proposal for a drinking water Source Water Protection program. This educational program is carried out by Michael Reisenwitz (Dr,.Waters).

We have a very successful annual NATIVE PLANT SALE begun by Theresa Merli – now run by Judy Mehl.

BWA with legal assist from Penn Future and help from MCCD – negotiated a much better alternative to a proposed STP discharge to Brodhead Creek in Stroud Township’s park. Stroud Township, Stroudsburg Borough., and East Stroudsburg Borough joined us in this effort.

Our TROUT TRAILS & TALES community art project was a great success spearheaded by Theresa Merli in partnership with the Pocono Arts Council.

We have a lot to celebrate in our 20 years of growth and accomplishments. However, we can, in no way, rest on our laurels: we still have impaired waters in the watershed and will surely face new challenges for which we truly appreciate your support.

I am pleased to welcome Dr. Pat Kennedy as the new President of BWA. Pat is an associate professor in the Communication Studies department at East Stroudsburg University. In a prior life, she spent nearly twenty years as a lawyer, the majority of those as a municipal attorney for the city of Ithaca, NY. Pat hopes to put the skills she has developed as a lawyer, a public official and teacher to work to help the BWA in its educational mission to protect and improve water quality and the environment of the region. programs and stream monitoring.