Project Headwaters

What is Project Headwaters?


Project Headwaters was started in 2007 by Mike Wilson of Southeastern Montgomery County Trout Unlimited. Mike took a hard look at the restoration work his local chapter had completed over the last 6 years, mainly within Lorimer Park in Southeast Montgomery County. Although there was a dedicated corps of volunteers, and they had successfully constructed 38 streambank protection and fish habitat enhancement devices, he began to realize the scale of the stormwater problem facing Pennypack Creek and started to question whether a different approach would be more effective. ...(read more about the history of Project Headwaters)

A Smarter Approach to Stream Restoration

Project Headwaters was initiated in early 2007 by SE Montgomery County Trout Unlimited, Philadelphia Water Department Office of Watersheds (PWD), Temple/Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative, Montgomery County Conservation District, AKRF, Inc. and Pennsylvania Environmental Council. These partners are seeking ways to improve urban watershed planning by implementing a regional initiative aimed at coordinated, strategic, action-oriented approach to watershed management.

How is Project Headwaters Different?

Project Headwaters is different because we're focused on implementation of projects in the headwaters first, where we can concentrate our efforts and see results from improved stormwater management.

    Guidelines to Countermand Weaknesses of Watershed Planning and Implementation Approaches:
  1. Implement projects in close proximity to one another.
  2. Strive for cumulative, measurable impact within a smaller area within a shortened time frame.
  3. Specifically target headwaters areas.
  4. Restore headwaters first, to prevent uncontrolled runoff and sediment from impacting downstream projects.
  5. Retrofit stormwater systems before addressing stream channels.
  6. Proactively correct what is often the cause of channel degradation.

Project Headwaters is focused on Public and Institutional Parcels.

    Benefits of Focusing Restoration Efforts on Public and Institutional Lands:
  1. Enhances visibility
  2. Enhances transferability to other holdings (e.g., from one school property to another).
  3. Generally larger land holdings and multiple parcel ownership (coordination costs with multiple landowners avoided).
  4. Enhance mission and mandate of public and institutions to manage watershed resources.