Master Watershed Steward Program Monroe County Pennsylvania

January 8, 2018
Penn State Extension and the Monroe County Conservation District are excited to launch the Master Watershed Steward Program.
The Master Watershed Steward program is a collaborative effort between Penn State Extension, Monroe County Conservation District, and local conservation groups. It is similar to the Master Gardener program and is designed to train people in a formal way about the basics of water resource stewardship, creating an energized and educated group of citizens. Currently, the MWS program is in 13 counties across the state and has 194 volunteers that have contributed over 7,500 volunteer hours in 2017.
We are recruiting 20-25 interested people for the class of 2018. The class will consist of 40 hours of training on various topics, including water quality, stream health, groundwater, native plants, and recreational resources. Once this part of the training is complete, trainees perform 50 hours of volunteer service on selected projects such as:
– Organizing and executing stream cleanups.
– Designing and installing demonstration rain gardens.
– Assist in stream restorations.
– Organize educational workshops addressing topics such as rain barrels, pollution prevention, invasive plant control, and stormwater management.


Applicants are welcome from all walks of life. If under 18, you must be accompanied by a guardian or adult. The program will start on Thursday, March 1, 2018, 6:00-8:30 pm and will continue every Thursday through May. There will be several Saturday field trips.
An informational session at 6:30 pm will be held on January18 at:
Monroe County Conservation District
8050 Running Valley Rd.
Stroudsburg, Pa.
If interested, please contact:

Jim Vogt
Phone: 570-421-6430
Penn State Extension
Monroe County
724 Phillips Street, Suite 201
Stroudsburg, PA 18360

Plastics – Stop Littering – We need to make a change !

by S. Oram (new blogger)

Where do you throw your plastics and trash when you are done with it?   I would hope you say you RECYCLE ! Because just throwing that container away by mixing it with the normal trash or discarding out the window creates problems.  Part of this problem is POLLUTION.  This pollution creates visual aesthetic issues, but also damages habitat and threatens the land, air, and sea animals.  Did you ever stop and think about how these things can affect the animals outside?   Most plastic waste comes from third world countries especially in China, but we can still make a difference.   Online Source – 

In the 1970s, the National Academy of Sciences estimated about 45,000 tons of garbage and waste was being tossed and thrown in the ocean.   Since initial estimate, it has gotten even worse. Many people throw things in the ocean and don’t think about the animals in it or the other uses downstream.  The materials can get wrapped around the animals or some of the animals eat.  The animals become hurt, sick, and die. Littering can kill marine life and destroy habits.  Some people don’t stop to think about the animals and their safety.  Over 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million sea birds are killed each year from plastic pollution and  6 million tons of debris, i.e., a ton is 200 lbs , enters the ocean each year.  It is time to say – Enough!

Sad there is no reason to create this type of pain and suffering.

Did you know it can take up to 450 years for plastic bottles to decompose?

Where is most of this plastic?  (Operation Seanet)


Here is a list of wastes that go in the ocean and how long it takes to decompose.

Foam cups and tin cans – up to 50 years.
Plastic bottles up to 450 years.
Fine fishing net up to 600 years (much longer for heavier nets).
Cigarette butts- 1 – 5 years.
Plastic bags- 10 – 20 years (Some putting this debris in a plastic bag is not good enough) .  The bags breakdown and this it may take 100s of years for the content to decompose.

SO – Simply Bagging the Trash is Not a Solution.  We must make every effort to recycle, reuse, and then put our young minds together and help to clean up our oceans, beaches, and landscapes and develop better solutions.


My call to action:

  1. Please think twice before littering and think twice before throwing stuff away.
  2. Pick up litter and Recycle – Participate in local clean up events.
  3.   Try to kick the plastic habit.
  4. Check out Operation – Seanet




Keystone Clean Water Team – Groundwater Foundation Library – Links to Educational Webinars – Groundwater Guardians Pennsylvania

“The Groundwater Foundation’s library of FREE educational webinars, available on-demand.”

The Keystone Clean Water Team (KCWT) -Carbon County Groundwater Guardian Program (CCGG) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer, environmental education organization which provides homeowners with information on private wells, water quality and quantity, and septic systems. We are dedicated to protecting private well owners from illnesses caused by our drinking water. We advance good groundwater stewardship by raising awareness on a variety of groundwater issues that affects everyone with a private water supply. We can help you get your water tested at the lab of your choice and explain the test results.

Click on the webinar title for a description, presenter information, length, and link to view.

Our Educational Booklet on Groundwater

Looking for a speaker related to Well Issues, Septic Systems, or Groundwater in Pennsylvania – contact:


Sexual Harassment Claims – Background Checks and Training a Must

Little off normal topic, but important.

“Sexual Harassment claims have seen a tremendous uptick, thanks in part to Hollywood! But, can you weed out potential offenders with a background check? Is there something to help you determine if the people you hire are going to be the ones you need to fire later? The answer is yes… and no…

As a part of your screening process, conducting background checks is very important. The General Duty Clause from OSHA states, in part, that you have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace for your employees and even customers that come in to your workspace. The courts have interpreted that to mean you should do background checks because you “should have known” about someone’s bad behavior!”

From Hiring Insights News – More on this subject.


Staff Training
Management Team

News Releases: Water Quality Association Perfluroinated Chemicals PFCs, PFOS, and PFOA

Part of National Defense Authorization Act headed to President’s desk

LISLE, Ill. – The Water Quality Association has voiced its support for a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that authorizes a nationwide health study on the implications of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) such as PFOA on drinking water. The language was authored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“This is an important step forward in the research needed to track the health effects of PFCs,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “We thank Senator Shaheen for making this a national priority.”

The NDAA is annual legislation that authorizes defense priorities for the fiscal year. The bill has been approved by both the U.S. House and Senate and is now headed to the President’s desk for his signature. Once signed into law, it will mandate the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to conduct the first-ever nationwide study on the impact of those exposed to PFCs in drinking water. However, Congress will also need to appropriate the $7 million to conduct the public health study.Earlier this year, the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University identified PFCs in the drinking water of 15 million Americans in 27 states. The new research includes an interactive map that identifies where the contamination was identified.

What are (including PFOA and PFOS)?

PFCs are man-made. They are used in a broad range of applications including fire-fighting foams, non-stick coatings, food packaging and many other industries.

What are the potential health effects from PFOA and PFOS?

Studies have found PFOA and PFOS in the blood samples of the general human population and wildlife nationwide. Studies also indicate that continued exposure to low levels of PFOA in drinking water may result in adverse health effects. These chemicals bioaccumulate in living organisms compounding the exposure and potential impacts on human health.

Residents should have their drinking water tested through a certified water-testing laboratory. Homeowners can check with the Water Quality Association at to find a water quality professional or connect with a certified testing lab through the USEPA (

This is a copy of a press release from: WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

Note from Keystone Clean Water Team
1. Because this is a chemical associated with a lot of consumer products that use water proofing, non-stick coatings,  food containers and wraps, and consumer goods we suggest you not only focus on your water quality, but also the items you are using in your home and office.
We recommend reviewing the following page on our blog:

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