The major Pennsylvania Lake Erie subwatersheds, which are named for the streams that empty into the lake, are indicated on this map in different colors. The white areas along the shoreline drain directly into Lake Erie. On the west side of Erie, Turkey Creek, Conneaut Creek and Ashtabula Creek cross into Ohio before emptying into Lake Erie. Twenty Mile Creek, the easternmost subwatershed in Erie County, begins in New York Sate before crossing into Pennsylvania.
For every waterway that is polluted we all suffer the consequences and so does the wildlife.
While Lake Erie is a huge body of water, it cannot continue to provide millions of people with water suitable for drinking or for a healthy environment or strong economy without cooperation among the states, municipalities, businesses and people that rely on this precious resource.
Reducing runoff and keeping pollutants from reaching the waters of Lake Erie is essential for keeping our drinking water safe.
Do you ever wonder about the streams you cross every day on your way to work, school or shopping?
Many people can’t name their local streams. And fewer know where the streams are going, where they have been or what condition they’re in.
Impact on water resources should be the bottom line for everything we do.
Water is affected by industrial and personal wastes, pesticide/herbicide use, farming methods, forest management, oil and gas exploration, mining practices, urban development, energy production and stormwater runoff. So it’s up to us to ensure we don’t destroy water in the process.
We can deny that human activities have damaged the environment or we can fix and stop making the mistakes that jeopardize the very water we need to survive.
Pollution even in a small stream or wetland can have disastrous consequences for people and wildlife.
It can migrate into the interconnected network of wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes, groundwater and the ocean. This migration not only destroys habitat but it also pollutes drinking water.
Natural shorelines with a canopy of native trees and undergrowth are the foundation of a healthy lake ecosystem.
Unfortunately there are very few natural shorelines left in the Lake Erie coastal zone. Many of these areas, which drain directly into the lake rather than draining first into one of its tributaries, are this week’s watershed focus.
Our focus this week, the Mill Creek watershed, is a perfect example. This watershed, named for its main tributary, drains water from portions of Greene, Summit and Millcreek Townships and the city of Erie into Presque Isle Bay.
This week’s watershed focus is Cascade Creek, a heavily urbanized watershed located in Millcreek Township and the City of Erie. You can no longer follow Cascade Creek, which flows through commercial, industrial and residential areas, to its headwaters, because it is encased in underground concrete pipes in many locations.
Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011