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The Poquessing Creek Watershed rises from tributary streams in Lower Moreland and Lower Southampton Townships. These waters join the mainstem of the creek, which then carves out the border between Bensalem Township and Philadelphia before discharging into the Delaware River. Byberry Creek is a major tributary stream, draining the backyards and business centers of Northeast Philadelphia before joining the Poquessing just above Frankford Avenue. Overall these creeks make up an urbanized watershed that encompasses neighborhoods, commercial districts, businesses, and a patchwork of open space lands. It is designated for use as a warm water fishery, a spawning and nursery site for migratory fishes, and as a tributary to the Delaware River, the creek also serves as a source of drinking water for the City of Philadelphia.

Watershed residents and organizations have long sought to stitch together a network of trails and green spaces. While much of this vision is still on paper, steps are slowly being taken by Philadelphia and the three adjacent townships to acquire and restore trails, open space, and park lands within the Poquessing Creek Watershed, including the protection of some mature forest in Bensalem Township. In addition to these recreational benefits, the watershed provides several other services, including flood control, clean water, cooling in the summer, and higher property values to name a few.

Fast Facts


drains approximately 22 square miles

Stream Miles

approximately 45 linear miles


approximately 105,000 residents

Counties / Municipalities

encompasses areas of Philadelphia, Bucks, and Montgomery counties, with all or parts of four municipalities, including Lower Moreland, Bensalem, Lower Southampton, and Upper Southampton

Impervious Cover

approximately 38% impervious


Within the Poquessing Watershed exists a myriad of spirited residents, community groups, businesses, and institutions that advocate partnership opportunities to protect and enhance watershed and waterway resources. Learn more about these stewards, their initiatives, and how you can make a difference in the Poquessing Watershed.

Watershed Resources

Interactive Map

This dynamic map will enable you to see the specific locations of featured projects and PWD initiatives within this watershed.

Virtual Tours

Take our Watershed Tour to see notable landmarks and hidden treasures that define the character of this watershed's past, present and future. Or get a glimpse of the creek itself through our Waterway Tour.


Source water protection and the development of water and stormwater infrastructure helped shape the character of our watersheds. Understanding this history is fundamental to stormwater management strategies and other site development regulations we implement today.

Key Documents/Maps

These core documents and maps reflect the research and planning we've conducted in order to assess the condition of this watershed and strategize future improvements.


A wealth of data is available for you to learn more about the health and quality of this watershed's waterways.

Watershed Issues

PWD is currently investigating the Poquessing Creek Watershed by conducting detailed monitoring and modeling of hydrology, water quality, biology, physical habitat, and pollution loadings. The Poquessing-Byberry Comprehensive Characterization Report will present the results of these efforts and identify the causes for impairment in this watershed. This report will be available by the winter of 2010.

What We're Doing

  • PWD Convened the Watershed Partnership in 2009 to gather a diverse group of stakeholders.
  • The Poquessing Rivers Conservation Plan was completed in 2007 and documents a diverse set of goals and ways to improve the natural and cultural resources in the watershed.
  • Once the Comprehensive Characterization Report is complete and the problems in the watershed are identified, PWD will lead the integrated watershed management planning process with our partners.
  • PWD provides technical assistance to prevent erosion and improve water quality for watershed residents with homes along the Poquessing Creek or one of its tributaries through the Backyard Buffer program.

What's In It For You

Please see our Partnership page to learn more about the watershed and how you can be involved.