Streams Without Stewards
A look at local waterways that need protecting

You can always find us proudly highlighting work completed on streams and watersheds around the county by us and our partners- riparian buffers, litter cleanups, rain gardens, water quality monitoring and streambank restorations. However, for PA Local Waterways Appreciation Week, we want to show love for those streams and watersheds that do not have designated stewards like watershed groups to look after them.

Watershed groups are the ‘eyes and ears’ of our local streams and the land surrounding them. They protect, improve and educate. Their presence is truly an asset, and not every watershed is lucky to have a designated group of folks to look out for its best interests.

Common Issues Affecting our Waterways
All streams and watersheds share common issues across the U.S. and the world:
  • Water pollution
  • Stormwater runoff
  • Flooding
  • Erosion and sedimentation
  • Loss of trees and greenspace

These issues range from large illegal dumps, to destabilized streambanks, to individual homeowners’ use of fertilizers. Each issue requires a prescription, but often these things are overlooked due to a lack of a mission-oriented team to target issues, educate the public and to put solutions into place.

Where We Need More Stewards
Currently, there are 11 active watershed groups in Allegheny County and there is room for more. We would like to take this opportunity to spotlight a handful of watersheds that do not have a group. This is by no means a complete list, but simply a nod to areas of the county where there are large gaps. Every stream and watershed needs devoted fans!

Bull Creek Watershed
Drains to the Allegheny River

Deer Creek Watershed
Drains to the Allegheny River

Big Sewickley Creek Watershed
Drains to the Ohio River

Lowries Run Watershed
Drains to the Ohio River

Gillespie Run Watershed
Drains to the Youghiogheny River

Long Run Watershed
Drains to the Youghiogheny River

Learn and Act
What watershed do you live in?
Click here to identify the streams where you live.

Contact Allegheny Watershed Alliance
Contact Rebecca at our in-house nonprofit, the Allegheny Watershed Alliance, to find out if there is an existing watershed group near you or provide information about starting your own group:

Become a Penn State Master Watershed Steward
Stewards learn about a wide range of water resources topics and participate in volunteer opportunities around the area.
Learn about the program
Mary Wilson
Master Watershed Steward Coordinator (Allegheny County)


Little Deer Creek Watershed needs advocates to protect healthy streams like Dawson Run pictured here.

Dawson Run is currently teeming with native plants and pollinators along its riparian buffer.