Protect Vital Waterways from Development and Destruction

Riparian buffer zone, Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania

Target: Senator of Pennsylvania, Robert Casey

Goal: Save fresh waterways from pollution by preventing the destruction of crucial river buffer zones

A riparian buffer zone is crucial for river health by reducing erosion, flooding, and water sedimentation. However, a bill seeks to eliminate the mandatory 150-foot buffer zone around crucial rivers and streams in Pennsylvania. The lack of buffer now allows development to creep into the state’s natural water sources and ultimately destroy them. Take action now to protect natural waterways for the future of local residents and wildlife.

A bill has sought to amend the Clean Streams Law by eliminating mandatory natural forests around streams and rivers. Having a natural buffer around sensitive waters promotes a healthy stream habitat for aquatic wildlife and human use, especially downstream. The buffer zone is a low-cost way to maintain healthy waterways. Without a buffer zone, spots downstream will be affected by low water quality from increased sedimentation and flooding. The Susquehanna River Basin, a watershed notorious for flooding, already experiences millions in flood damages every year. Reducing buffer zones will only benefit development and industry and truly destroy Pennsylvania’s vital watersheds.

With much retaliation from environmental advocates in the area, this bill has sought to include various alternatives. However, these alternatives are made into place without actually testing their environmental integrity or effectiveness. One alternative seeks to have a ‘trade off’ in riparian zones. If a zone is destroyed for development, then a zone equally as large must be protected somewhere within the same watershed. The logic behind this alternative is sound but the effectiveness has not been tested for short-term or long-term side effects. Preservation without disruption is key to maintaining a healthy watershed. This issue is currently awaiting a decision in the Senate. By signing this petition, you are urging the senator of Pennsylvania to deny the bill to amend the Clean Streams Law. Help protect the future of Pennsylvania’s fresh water supply.


Dear Senator Casey,

A bill seeking to amend the Clean Streams Law will destroy the health of Pennsylvania’s fresh water supply. The bill will eliminate the mandatory 150-foot natural forest buffer zone around vital rivers and streams. A riparian buffer zone is mandatory to reduce water sedimentation, storm runoff, and flooding. Aquatic wildlife as well as the state’s citizens rely on a healthy watershed.

With the Susquehanna River basin already polluted from storm runoff as well as causing millions in flood damage each year, this bill will not improve the health of the watershed. Having a riparian buffer zone is a low-cost and effective way to maintain healthy fresh water sources. Please take action to oppose the bill and encourage development and industry to stay away from Pennsylvania’s fresh water.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit:  Nicholas A. Tonelli via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. paula eaton says:

    Water is more precious than gold and needs to be protected.

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