April 12, 2023


Virtual Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum (PA LEEF)

May 16, 2023
1:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern

(ERIE, PA) – New technologies in stormwater management will be the focus for the next Pennsylvania Lake Erie Environmental Forum (PALEEF), hosted virtually on May 16, 2023, at 1:00PM Eastern. Participation is free but registration is required. The forums are hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and Pennsylvania Sea Grant.

Invited local and regional speakers will come together to discuss the future of stormwater in Pennsylvania. The Regional Science Consortium (RSC) and partners will present information about harmful algal blooms (HABs) and a new custom designed litter boom to catch plastic debris entering Presque Isle Bay through stormwater. Both plastic debris and HABs are exacerbated by untreated stormwater entering waterbodies. Invited speakers from the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier (LEAF) will touch on tree plantings as a stormwater management technique followed by presenters from the City of Erie that will discuss the new stormwater fee. Finally, the audience will hear from the Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF) in a presentation about current research into artificial intelligence and stormwater management.

Stormwater runoff is a major issue in urban and rural areas. The US Environmental Protection Agency states that “runoff picks up fertilizer, oil, pesticides, dirt, bacteria and other pollutants as it makes its way through storm drains and ditches - untreated - to our streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Polluted runoff is one of the greatest threats to clean water in the U.S.” (USEPA, 2023). Join the Lake Erie Environmental Forum to learn more about stormwater strategies, plans, and impacts in Pennsylvania, and local mitigation efforts in the Pennsylvania Lake Erie Watershed. 

Participation is free, but registration is required. Contact Amber Stilwell, Pennsylvania Sea Grant’s Lake Erie Coastal Outreach Specialist, for additional details or with questions. The Forum agenda and links to previously recorded sessions are available online.

Pennsylvania Sea Grant is supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Penn State University, and through federal, state, and local funding.


1:00 – 1:05 Welcome to the Forum Tim Bruno, Great Lakes, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Amber Stilwell, Pennsylvania Sea Grant & Penn State Extension

1:05 – 1:20 Great Lakes Updates Tim Bruno, Great Lakes, PA DEP

1:20 – 1:45 Stormwater Impacts: Two Local Projects Jeanette Schnars, Ph.D., Regional Science Consortium

1:45 – 2:05 Planting Trees to Reduce Stormwater Impacts John Vanco, Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF) & ReLEAF

2:05 – 2:20 City of Erie Stormwater Program Sarah Peelman, City of Erie

2:20 – 2:25 Break

2:25 – 2:55 Stormwater and Artificial Intelligence David Rankin, Great Lakes Protection Fund Brandon Wong, Hyfi Branko Kerkez, Hyfi

3:00 Closing


Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011