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Waterways Restoration Programs

Aquatic Resources Project Registry

In response to waterway degradation and loss of aquatic resources, PWD has identified numerous opportunities for restoration and enhancement projects. The Aquatic Resources Project Registry includes stream restoration, wetland creation, fish passage and tidal wetland creation. These projects will also help mitigate damage to the environment caused by infrastructure improvements, create economic benefits, and improve recreational value. In addition, many of these projects are located in areas with low income and minority neighborhoods that would be enhanced by the proposed upgrades.

Download the Aquatic Resources Project Registry:
Stream Restoration (16.5 MB)
Wetland Creation (15.7 MB)
Tidal Wetland (21.2 MB)
Fish Passage (13.2 MB)

Stream Restoration/Wetland Creation Projects

The Office of Watersheds, partnered with PWD’s Design Group and the Fairmount Park Commission, has hired consultants to develop restoration/stabilization designs and wetland creation designs for tributaries and mainstem streams throughout Philadelphia County. The OOW oversees the design and construction phases of these projects to ensure that project goals will be met and all applicable permits are being obtained. In order to assess whether or not these built-out efforts have been successful, the OOW also conducts pre- and post-construction monitoring.

Fluvial Geomorphology Reports

The purpose of the Fluvial Geomorphology (FGM) Stream Assessment Reports is to provide the PWD, local watershed partnership groups, and other stakeholder parties with an analysis and summary of the Philadelphia watersheds' existing physical conditions, inclusive of both stream networks and riparian corridors. Specifically, the goals of these assessments are to provide:

• characterization and documentation of existing conditions
• a reference point for evaluating changes over time
• a tool for prioritizing stream and habitat restoration sites
• insight into appropriate restoration strategies
• a land use planning and redevelopment tool
• an aid in determining the effects of urbanization

The ultimate goals of these restoration efforts will include: improving water quality, managing or replanting riparian vegetation, enhancing in-stream habitat, providing increased fish passage and finally, facilitating stream bank stabilization.

Download the Lower Wissahickon Stream Assessment Study:
Report (20.1MB PDF)
Appendix A (69.9MB PDF)
Appendix B (35.1MB PDF)
Appendix C (12.9MB PDF)
Appendix D (604KB PDF)
Appendix E (1.3MB PDF)

Wissahickon Sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Monitoring Program

The PWD has developed and implemented this program designed to achieve the first goal of the Wissahickon TMDL for siltation, which requires PWD “to establish baseline data on Philadelphia’s contribution of sediment loading and flow variations.” PWD conducted a study to identify tributaries to the Wissahickon Creek (within Philadelphia) that cause an adverse impact to in-stream habitats as a result of transport of sediment and/or stream bank erosion. The study, initiated in October 2005, includes an evaluation of the tributaries that have the greatest potential for improvement through implementation of BMPs and/or other methods.

Riparian Buffer Nursery

Transforming an urban site within Philadelphia equivalent to 11 typical residential lots, we have partnered with the Fairmount Park Commission to create a tree nursery that will use innovative stormwater management techniques to create an aesthetic and environmentally sound model for long-term care and maintenance. Once established, our vision for the nursery is that matured trees will be sold and planted throughout the community and adjacent neighborhoods. The trees can also be sold to city agencies and nonprofits for the purposes of tree restoration in city parks.

Scrap Yard Task Force

To address numerous complaints about the operation of scrap metal and auto salvage businesses, the City is participating with the USEPA and PADEP in a multi-governmental Scrap Yard Task Force (SYTF) to conduct random inspections of these facilities. Scrap metal and salvage businesses may cause polluted runoff to enter the City’s sewers, create blight in City neighborhoods, and contribute to short dumping and other environmental harms to area waterways. Inspections and meetings take place once a month in an effort to reach more scrap yards and get them into compliance. Currently, there are 209 licensed scrap yards; 174 are auto salvage yards and 35 are junk yards.