As the Program Director for Watersheds at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I’m often asked to help plan and participate in educational workshops and training events for municipal officials, landowners, and watershed groups on water resource management issues.
That all adds up to become a large segment of the work I do and I enjoy the challenge of creating programs that are engaging and informative to all types of audiences, and last week was no different.
My PEC colleague Paul Racette and I helped workshop coordinator and Villanova University civil engineering professor Dr. Andrea Welker plan the Oct. 13 Municipal Stormwater Workshop at the University’s campus in suburban Philadelphia. This event, co-hosted by the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership (VUSP), precedes Villanova’s Biennial Stormwater Symposium and features topics targeted to municipal audiences and their issues. Also providing key planning assistance for the event was Jan Bowers, Executive Director of the Chester County Water Resources Authority. Feel free to contact PEC for a complete list of attendees.
We were gratified that over 125 municipal officials, county and state agency representatives, local and regional watershed partners, students and faculty, and consultants chose to spend their Tuesday with us. I was fortunate to moderate one of the two panels, and share stories and exchange ideas with existing and new partners. You can view the full agenda here.
The workshop included a mix of presentations and panel discussions focused on collaborative and financial strategies for meeting water quality requirements. From an introduction to the Municipal Online Stormwater Training Center (MOST) to hearing directly from municipal officials on their experiences establishing stormwater fees, the workshop covered many current issues of concern to our communities and more specifically those with Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s).
With over 900 MS4s in Pennsylvania, PEC is working hard to develop training and education programs and highlight successful efforts to help communities reach their water quality goals.
Jenifer Fields, Clean Water Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Southeast Region delivered an inspiring, engaging, and humorous presentation on the benefits of achieving stormwater compliance through collaboration.
Erick Eckl, Founder of Water Words that Work LLC, summarized specific ways to promote stormwater fees to the public based on research conducted by his firm in Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed communities. Water Words that Work LLC, is a marketing and public relations firm for nature protection and pollution control organizations.
The formal programming was followed by an optional tour of Villanova’s many stormwater controls installed around its campus, including a new green roof.
For more information on PEC’s upcoming stormwater and watershed programs, please contact me at email@example.com. If you are interested in PEC’s work around the state, please continue to browse our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@PECPA), and consider joining as a member. You can do that here.