The Octoraro Watershed Association is dedicated to protecting and conserving the natural and historical resources of the Octoraro Watershed. The watershed covers 208 square miles and includes fourteen townships and four boroughs in Southern Chester and Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania and Cecil County Maryland. The Octoraro Creek flows into the Susquehanna River downstream from the Conowingo Dam, which in turn empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
The Watershed Association was founded in 1967 by a group of Chester and Lancaster County residents dedicated to protecting water quality, promoting sound land use practices and raising environmental awareness.
In 1983 we were instrumental in placing thirty-four miles of the East and West branches and the main stem of the Octoraro Creek in the Pennsylvania Scenic Rivers Program. This was one of Pennsylvania's first Scenic River designations. In 1986, we developed the Octoraro Taskforce which studies the problems of the Watershed and made recommendations to the townships and boroughs for stream corridor protection. In 1998, through a grant from Pennsylvania DCNR and with the help of a community taskforce we studied and prepared a Watershed Conservation Plan.
We partner with watershed landowners to improve water quality. Through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife “Partners for Wildlife” Program, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, NRCS, the County Conservation Districts, and other partners: Farmers are installing stream bank fencing and riparian buffers. These projects seek to restore wildlife habitat, stabilize stream banks, and filter pollutants from watershed stream banks. These programs are constantly expanding to include new partners. Our continuing goal is to improve water quality throughout the Watershed.
Twice a year we publish our Newsletter which disseminates historical, environmental, scientific, and education information
We hold our annual membership meeting each spring which includes dinner, a guest speaker, and our annual business meeting. Our Board of Directors meets quarterly. These meetings are held in the watershed office and are open to members and the public.
The Octoraro Watershed Association’s programs are supported by membership dues and private contributions, and grants. Members include individuals, families, and organizations, and businesses that are concerned with the environment and dedicated to economically sound conservation.
Join us in making a difference in the sound use of our land, and improving the water quality of this Watershed. Your financial support is important. We are also in need of volunteer efforts or “in - kind” contributions your active participation in any of these ways is essential for the successful conservation of the Octoraro Watershed, and the sustainability and growth of our organization.