Pennsylvania has more than 86,000 miles of streams and rivers and 160,000 acres of lakes, and also holds 63 miles of Lake Erie shoreline and 17 square miles of Delaware Estuary. These waters and wetlands provide ample opportunity for boating, canoeing, white-water rafting, kayaking, and swimming, and are also home to more than 20 popular species of game fish.
The health and availability of water resources that support recreational uses—as well as the social and economic benefits of water-based recreation and tourism—are closely tied to decisions each resident makes on a daily basis. Whether you enjoy fishing, boating, swimming, or just hiking along a mountain stream, making a commitment to using water efficiently within your home and business can help ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy these recreational activities as well.
What Can You Do?
If you enjoy Pennsylvania’s recreational waters, there are two important things you can do to continue enjoying the commonwealth’s waters into the future: conserve and protect.
- You can easily conserve water in your daily life by installing water-efficient fixtures and appliances and making simple behavioral changes to reduce your water use. For more information on water efficiency in your home, visit Water Use in Your Home.
- Protecting the quality of our water resources is everyone’s responsibility. Using water inefficiently is irresponsible, because when water supplies are diminished they become vulnerable to impaired quality. In short, everyone who uses water can negatively affect the water supply.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) hosts the Water Conservation Center Web site.
- The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission provides a wealth of information on recreational water use including interactive maps and county-by-county guides that show you where you can fish.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources provides guidance on planning a trip to one of its more than 115 state parks throughout the Commonwealth. Many of the state parks include recreation water activities and the Website can help decide where to go and what to do once you get there.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosts a Web site titled Watersheds.
- PA DEP hosts a Watershed Management Web site.
- Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension published a document titled Forest Stewardship Watershed Management (PDF).
- EPA hosts a Web site titled Stormwater Program.
- American Rivers is a national conservation organization advocating the protection and restoration of America's rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife, and nature.
- The Delaware River Basin Commission's website contains information on recreational water use within the Delaware River Water shed.